Matching Items (7)

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Crazy/Smart: An Artist Statement detailing Performance Choices against Abelist Ideology in Higher Education

Description

The label of “honors student,” and the status it carries, implies exceptional academic ability, maturity, and accomplishment. The notion that “honors” students are more capable than non-honors students dismisses the

The label of “honors student,” and the status it carries, implies exceptional academic ability, maturity, and accomplishment. The notion that “honors” students are more capable than non-honors students dismisses the particular needs of intersecting identities including gender, race, and/or ability. Said differently, the “honors” designation erases identity and difference. For instance, “honors” students who live with mental illness(es) navigate social spaces and physical structures that assert notions of “success” that are informed by conditions that inhibit bodily function, communication, and educational accomplishment as set by capitalist and ableist standards. Moreover, ableist notions of “success” are always inherently racialized and gendered such that “honors” students women of color living with mental illness are forced to navigate racist and gendered overtones informing academic “success.” Focusing on how students think about and embody the labels of “honors” and “mentally ill” provides unique insight on how the systems of higher education are based in ableist ideology. In this Artist Statement, I discuss my performance Crazy/Smart, a performance that features and stages students’ narratives detailing the means by which students navigate ableism as “honors” students. Using embodied knowledge through performance allows students to decenter dominant, institutionalized narratives about ableism and higher education, speaking up to administrators as people of power and redefining personal success. In this Artist Statement, I detail the theory and method framing my performance Crazy/Smart, a performance using “honors” student stories and narratives to highlight and resist ableist ideology informing higher education more generally and “honors” education more specifically. This Statement includes four sections. First, I provide the theoretical framework that outlines ableism as an embodied ideology. Second, I extend my argument and turn to critical pedagogy to suggest a performance means to resist ableist ideology. Third, I describe the specificities informing my performance including the choices I made to stage ableism as an ideological structure organizing higher education. The fourth and final section is the attached Crazy/Smart script.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Trickster dialogics: : a method for articulating cultural archetypes from 'Q' to performance art

Description

Simultaneously culture heroes and stumbling buffoons, Tricksters bring cultural tools to the people and make the world more habitable. There are common themes in these figures that remain fruitful for

Simultaneously culture heroes and stumbling buffoons, Tricksters bring cultural tools to the people and make the world more habitable. There are common themes in these figures that remain fruitful for the advancement of culture, theory, and critical praxis. This dissertation develops a method for opening a dialogue with Trickster figures. It draws from established literature to present a newly conceived and more flexible Trickster archetype. This archetype is more than a collection of traits; it builds on itself processually to form a method for analysis. The critical Trickster archetype includes the fundamental act of crossing borders; the twin ontologies of ambiguity and liminality; the particular tactics of humor, duplicity, and shape shifting; and the overarching cultural roles of culture hero and stumbling buffoon. Running parallel to each archetypal element, though, are Trickster's overarching critical spirit of Quixotic utopianism and underlying telos of manipulating human relationships. The character 'Q' from Star Trek: The Next Generation is used to demonstrate the critical Trickster archetype. To be more useful for critical cultural studies, Trickster figures must also be connected to their socio-cultural and historical contexts. Thus, this dissertation offers a second set of analytics, a dialogical method that connects Tricksters to the worlds they make more habitable. This dialogical method, developed from the work of M. M. Bakhtin and others, consists of three analytical tools: utterance, intertextuality, and chronotope. Utterance bounds the text for analysis. Intertextuality connects the utterance, the text, to its context. Chronotope suggests particular spatio-temporal relationships that help reveal the cultural significance of a dialogical performance. Performance artists Andre Stitt, Ann Liv Young, and Steven Leyba are used to demonstrate the method of Trickster dialogics. A concluding discussion of Trickster's unique chronotope reveals its contributions to conceptions of utopia and futurity. This dissertation offers theoretical advancements about the significance and tactics of subversive communication practices. It offers a new and unique method for cultural and performative analyses that can be expanded into different kinds of dialogics. Trickster dialogics can also be used generatively to direct and guide the further development of performative praxis.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Meeting trees halfway: environmental encounters in theatre and performance

Description

How do trees (live and representational) participate in our theatrical and performed encounters with them? If trees are not inherently scenic, as their treatment in language and on stage might

How do trees (live and representational) participate in our theatrical and performed encounters with them? If trees are not inherently scenic, as their treatment in language and on stage might reinforce, how can they be retheorized as agents and participants in dramatic encounters? Using Diana Taylor’s theory of scenario to understand embodied encounters, I propose an alternative approach to understanding environmental beings (like trees) called “synercentrism,” which takes as its central tenet the active, if not 100 percent “willed,” participation of both human and non-human beings. I begin by mapping a continuum from objecthood to agenthood to trace the different ways that plants and trees are used, represented, and included in our encounters. The continuum provides a framework that more comprehensively unpacks human-plant relationships.

My dissertation addresses the rich variety of representations and embodiments by focusing on three central chapter topics: the history of tree representation and inclusion in dramatic literature and performance; interactions with living trees in gardens, parks, and other dramatic arenas; and individual plays and plants that have a particularly strong grasp on cultural imaginaries. Each chapter is followed by one or more corresponding case studies (the first chapter is followed by case studies on plants in musical theatre; the second on performing plants and collaborative performance events; and the last on the dance drama Memory Rings and the Methuselah tree). I conclude with a discussion of how the framework of synercentrism can aid in the disruption of terministic screens and facilitate reciprocal relationships with trees and other environmental agents.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Performing the Electrical or My Heart is an Electromagnetic Chamber Scenographies of Power, Ecology and Speculative Practice

Description

Performing the Electrical traces the histories and futures of electrical discovery and knowledge through cultural performances, socio-political assemblages, and the more-than-human worldmaking functions of energy in general and electricity in

Performing the Electrical traces the histories and futures of electrical discovery and knowledge through cultural performances, socio-political assemblages, and the more-than-human worldmaking functions of energy in general and electricity in particular, or what I refer to as energy-as-electricity. This project seeks to transform how energy-as-electricity is perceived, and thereby to re-vision the impact that energy-rich relationships might have ecologically—in both the social and environmental senses of the word. As a practice-led inquiry I use my scenographic sensibilities in combination with performance studies and energy humanities lenses to identify how energy-scapes form through social performances, material relations, and aesthetic/ritualistic interventions. This approach allows me to synthesize vastly different scales of energy-as-electricity performatives and spatialities and propose alternative framings which work towards decolonizing and re-feminizing energy-rich relationships. This research considers the way power flows, accumulates, and transforms through performance as embodied expression, practice and eventful doings of human and more-than-human agents. It asks: if place is practiced space (Henri Lefebvre), how can decolonizing and re-feminizing energy-rich relationships transform normative power relationships (or power geometries, as cultural geographer Doreen Massey refers to such globalized interconnections)—which are formed through electricity, technologies and colonial-capitalism? I ground this inquiry as an ecological intervention in order to investigate how performing with electricity differently (both in collective imaginations and quotidian interactions), can change the ways that electricity is produced and consumed in the time of the Anthropocene, Capitalocene, and Plasticene. The following study produces written and tacit knowledge that expands the framing of energy-rich relationships shared between human and more-than-human performatives. My provocation is that experiential encounters are critical for expanding the ontological plurality of energy-as-electricity with ecological a/effect. Drawing on the insights of performance scenographer Rachel Hann, I demonstrate that scenographic methodologies in an expanded field, along with embodied sensing, provide productive insights into this endeavor of expansion. This project both serves as a space making/space keeping provocation and offers a methodology for devising more desirable futures.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Radical welcome in youth performance spaces on Chicago's south side: the child as hungry, the child as village, the child as visible

Description

My project maps assets of welcome in the built environment in youth performing arts spaces. What signifiers reveal how a physical space conceptualizes the child, reflects professed theological claims, and

My project maps assets of welcome in the built environment in youth performing arts spaces. What signifiers reveal how a physical space conceptualizes the child, reflects professed theological claims, and cues youth to practice ownership and experience belonging? I explore the cultural capital that emerges from the sites and I assert theological implications of the findings. Through mixed qualitative, quantitative, and arts-based methods, I employ asset-based and cultural mapping tools to collect data. I parse theories of space, race, and capital. Half of the ten sites are faith-based; others make room for practices that participants bring to the table. Therefore, I discuss theologies and theories about racialized, religious, public, and arts spaces. My research shows that one ethnographic task for the arts groups is unearthing and embedding neighborhood legacy. I source fifty-six written youth questionnaires, forty youth in focus groups, staff questionnaires, parent interviews, and observations across fourteen months at ten sites. Interpreting the data required that I reconceive multiple terms, including “youth dedicated,” “partnership,” and art itself. The research codes spatial, relational, economic, temporal, and comfort-level assets. Observed assets include strategies for physical safety, gender inclusivity, literary agility, entrepreneurship, advocacy, and healing. Analyzing data showed the sites as conceptualizing the child in three change-making areas: the Child as Hungry, the Child as Village, and the Child as Visible. The Child as Hungry emerged because participants self-report myriad “feeding” physically, spiritually, and artistically at each site. Youth participants at each site maintain a Village presence, and each site offers a manner of gathering space that signifies Village responsibility. Each site carves space to witness the child, contrastingly with other spheres—so much so that being a Visible Child becomes a craft itself, added alongside the fine art. Child theology is the primary theoretical lens that I use to contribute to and intersect with performance studies theory, critical race theory, child drama, and childhood studies.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Dismantling illusions in and of paradise through the gift of refraction in the Terra do Exú: an ethnography with women of rural Bahia

Description

This dissertation presents a new tool for analysis of the way difficult experiences

or phenomena influence the process for constructing self-identity in the performance of everyday life. This concept, refraction, emerged

This dissertation presents a new tool for analysis of the way difficult experiences

or phenomena influence the process for constructing self-identity in the performance of everyday life. This concept, refraction, emerged as part of a grounded theory methods analysis of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Itacaré, Bahia, Brazil from January to July 2014. The work here contributes to the field of performance studies as a possibility for examining how affective responses to difficult experiences contribute to a shift in perspective and subsequently shifts in the performance of self in everyday life. This research was conducted with critical and reflexive autoethnographic methods in order to hold the research accountable for the ways subject position influences the research. In this case the most salient theme that emerged from these autoethnographic methods was an unpacking of unacknowledged tourist privilege in this setting. The resulting work-in-progress

performance will offer ways for spectators to question their own assumptions

regarding tourist privilege in Brazil, and in so-called developing countries in similar

tropical climates. An additional contribution to the field of performance-based research that resulted from this dissertation is the articulation of a dynamic locus of creativity wherein rigorous established qualitative research methods complement creative practices in conjunction with a spectrum of tacit knowledge and theoretical sensitivities. This juncture becomes the theoretical space where creativity in research can be articulated in ways that are legible to both artists and researchers.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Heterotopias of power: miners, Mapuche, and soldiers in the production of the utopian Chile

Description

Drawing from Foucault's notion of heterotopias, my dissertation identifies and examines three distinct but related events that resignified (re-imagined) Chile during 2010, the year of its Bicentenary, namely: the Rescue

Drawing from Foucault's notion of heterotopias, my dissertation identifies and examines three distinct but related events that resignified (re-imagined) Chile during 2010, the year of its Bicentenary, namely: the Rescue of the 33 Miners trapped in the San José mine, the Chilean Military Parade performed in celebration of Chilean Independence, and the Mapuche Hunger Strike of 32 indigenous people accused of terrorism by the Chilean State. My central hypothesis states that these three events constitute heterotopias with strong performative components that, by enacting a utopian and a dystopian nation, denounce the flaws of Chilean society. I understand heterotopias as those recursive systems that invert, perfect or contest the society they mirror. In other words: heterotopias are discursive constructions and material manifestations of social relations that dispute, support, or distort cultural assumptions, structures, and practices currently operating in the representational spaces of a given society. In addition to following the six heterotopological principles formulated by Foucault, these case studies have performance as the central constituent that defines their specificity and brings the heterotopias into existence. Due to the performative nature of these heterotopias, I have come to call them performance heterotopias, that is, sets of behaviors that enact utopias in the historical world, the place in which we live, the site in which "the erosion of our lives, our time and our history occurs," as Foucault puts it. Here, performance would act as the interface, the point of interaction, and suture between the conceived, the perceived and the representational spaces each heterotopia articulates. Thus, a performance heterotopia would be a particular type of heterotopia which is enacted through performance. A relevant aspect that emerged from my research is that heterotopic places not only mirror, contest, and compensate their own host society, but also refer to, and intersect with other contemporaneous heterotopias enacted in that society. In my conclusion I suggest that such interactions also happen between heterotopias that emerge in different countries and cultures. If so, the mapping of utopias enacted in the macro socio geographies of Latin American countries could offer new perspectives to understand the sociopolitical processes that are underway in the region.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011