Performance Studies

University of California, Berkeley

Overview

The Graduate Group in Performance Studies at UC Berkeley provides an interdisciplinary and individually crafted curriculum directed at advanced studies in the literatures, performances, cultural contexts, and theories of performance throughout the world. Based in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, the PhD program in Performance Studies takes advantage of Berkeley’s distinguished history in the field of drama and theater studies and opens out to a wider interrogation of the disciplines and methodologies of performance studies. The program is administered by the Graduate Group in Performance Studies, composed of faculty from a wide range of related departments. Students in the Performance Studies PhD program conduct research in a diverse array of interdisciplinary methodologies, on projects spanning the fields of theater, dance, and performance studies.

Undergraduate Program

The group does not offer an undergraduate program in Performance Studies. However, the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies offers a major and minor in Dance and Perfomance Studies and Theater and Performance Studies.

Graduate Program

Performance Studies: PhD

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Courses

Performance Studies

THEATER 200A Introductory Colloquium on Interdisciplinary Research in Performance 2 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the research resources of the University, to the methodologies and research interests of the faculty affiliated with the Ph.D. program, to the demands of a professional academic career, and to trends and developments in theater, dance, and performance studies.

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THEATER 200B Research Colloquium 2 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
This course is designed to provide an opportunity for graduate students to work with one another to advance their individual research projects and present their ongoing work.

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THEATER 201A Foundations in Performance Theory 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017
Part one of a two-semester core sequence on performance theory, required of first-year Performance Studies PhD students. This course focuses on the foundations of Performance Studies as a field, with special emphasis on its key philosophical and disciplinary antecedents. Topics will include the emergence of performance studies from the confluence of theater and literary studies, anthropology, art history, sociology, and cultural studies, and will include readings on
central theoretical concepts such as performativity, the performance of everyday life, and the interventions of the 1990s regarding the role of performance in the formation of race, gender, sexuality, national identity, colonialism and more.
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THEATER 201B Current Topics in Performance Study 4 Units

Terms offered: Not yet offered
Part two of a two-semester core sequence on performance theory, required of first-year Performance Studies PhD students. This course will explore prominent contemporary debates in Performance Studies, roughly from the year 2000 to the present. Precise topics will vary by instructor, but may include theoretical investigations in corporeality, digital cultures, transnationalism/globalization, performance and economics, as well as ongoing disciplinary debates regarding
race, nationality, gender and sexuality, and on the nature and social role of performance more generally. Prerequisites: 201A or consent of instructor.
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THEATER 202 Methodologies in Performance Studies 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
The study of different approaches and contemporary methodologies for analyzing performances of various kinds within their cultural and historical context. Specific methodologies can include archival research, field methods, etc. The specific focus in any one course is contingent upon the focus of the instructor.

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THEATER 203 Performance Practicum: Bodies, Space, and Time 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
Students in this course will engage in performance practice as: epistemology, methodology, and mode of research; explore the relationship between bodies, spaces, and temporality as a fundamental aspect of performance; and understand "performance as research" in Performance Studies as a field.

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THEATER 266 Special Topics: Theater Arts 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Topics vary from semester to semester and have included The Power of Music and Poetry in the Theater; Modern Drama and Theater, 1940 to the Present; Theaters, Tricksters, and Cultural Exchange; Art as Social Action; and The Invisible World (Process Seminar).

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THEATER 277 Special Studies in Directing 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2012, Spring 2011, Fall 2010
Advanced practice in play direction.

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THEATER 294 Directed Research 1 - 12 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2015, Spring 2012
Meetings to be arranged, either individually or as a group to explore fields not covered in courses listed elsewhere in Dramatic Art's offerings. May be taken by students engaged in writing dissertations.

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THEATER 299 Special Study 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Summer 2014 10 Week Session
May be taken when preparing prospectus, graduate portfolio, and/or oral presentation before qualifying oral examination. May not be substituted for available seminars.

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THEATER 300 Professional Preparation: Supervised Teaching in Dramatic Art 2 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2014, Spring 2013, Spring 2012
Discussion, problem review and development, course development, supervised practice of teaching.

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THEATER 340 Pedagogy for Movement Based Classes - Graduate Level 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015
This course studies pedagogical theories and methods. It is designed to prepare graduate students to teach practice-based dance and movement courses. In class teaching exercises will be supported by readings, research projects and assignments on the subject of pedagogy. Development of professional teaching documents such as a teaching philosophy, a sample course syllabus, sample lesson plans, and self-evaluation statements are required.

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THEATER 602 Individual Study for Doctoral Students 1 - 12 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2014, Fall 2013, Spring 2013
Individual study in consultation with the major field adviser, intended to provide an opportunity for qualified students to prepare themselves for the various examinations required of candidates for the Ph.D.

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Faculty

Core Faculty

Professors

Mark Griffith, Professor. Departments of Classics and Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies; PhD. Cambridge University; Classical drama and performance; Greek and Latin literature.
Faculty Profile

Shannon Jackson, Professor. Departments of Rhetoric and Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies; PhD. Northwestern University; Performance Studies; Contemporary theater; American cultural history and Performance Historiography; Adaptation.
Faculty Profile

Trinh Minh-ha, Professor. Department of Women’s Studies; Feminist Theory; Film Theory and production; Comparative Literary and Art Theory; Cultural Politics; Third World Arts and Politics.
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Miryam Sas, Professor. Departments of Comparative Literature and Film Studies; PhD. Yale University; 20th century poetry; Japanese Experimental Theater and Dance; Memory and Trauma; Mass Media and Cultural Studies; Film.
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Mary Ann Smart, Professor. Department of Music; PhD. Cornell University; 19th century opera; women in opera; feminist approaches to opera; the role of gesture in opera.
Faculty Profile

Associate Professors

Brandi Wilkins Catanese, Associate Professor. Departments of African American Studies and Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies; PhD. Stanford University; African-American Drama and Theater.
Faculty Profile

Abigail De Kosnik, Associate Professor. Berkeley Center for New Media and Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies; PhD. Northwestern University; Technology and Performance; Artistic Appropriation and Remix; Ethnicity, Gender, and Digital Culture; Cultural Studies; Subcultures and Fan Cultures; Marxism and Post-Structuralism.
Faculty Profile

SanSan Kwan, Associate Professor. Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies: PhD. New York University; Critical Dance Studies; Transnational Asian American Studies; Cultural Geography; Theories of Space and Kinesthesia, Interculturalism, Modern Dance, Ballet, and Yoga.
Faculty Profile

Peter Glazer, Associate Professor. Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies; PhD. Northwestern University; Directing; Adaptation; Performance Theory; 20th century American Theater; Commemorative Performance.
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Laura E. Pérez, Associate Professor. Department of Ethnic Studies; PhD. Harvard University; Post-1965 U.S. Latina/o Visual, Performance, and Literary Arts; Feminist, “Minority,” Post-Colonial, and Cultural Studies theories.
Faculty Profile

Juana Maria Rodriguez, Associate Professor. Gender and Women’s Studies; PhD. UC Berkeley; Queer Theory and Cultural Activism; Latin@ Popular Cultures; Performance Studies; Critical Race Theory; Sex and Sexuality Studies; Technology and Media Arts.
Faculty Profile

Shannon Steen, Associate Professor and Head Graduate Adviser. Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies; PhD. Stanford University; performance and critical race studies (especially the intersection of African and Asian American histories), American Studies, globalization and American urban development, and post/modernisms.
Faculty Profile

Sophie Volpp, Associate Professor. Departments of Comparative Literature and East Asian Languages and Cultures; PhD. Harvard University; classical Chinese performance, Chinese literature of the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, history of performance, gender theory, the history of sexuality, and the representation of material culture.
Faculty Profile

Alexei Yurchak, Associate Professor. Department of Anthropology; PhD. Duke University; theories of discourse, power and performance, the politics of aesthetics, irony and ideology, contemporary media, Russian informal art, Soviet state socialism and postsocialism, cities and urban space.
Faculty Profile

Assistant Professors

Julia Fawcett, Assistant Professor. Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies; Ph.D. Yale University; Restoration and 18th Century Theater and Performance, Performance Historiography, Intersections Between Literature and Performance, Autobiographical Performance, Urban Space, Celebrity, Gender, and Disability Studies.  Faculty Profile.

Angela Marino,  Assistant Professor. Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies; PhD., New York University; politics and performance in the Americas; Latino American performance and dramatic literature; popular fiesta and carnival theory.
Faculty Profile

Affiliated Faculty

Affiliated Professors

Charles Briggs, Alan Dundes Distinguished Professor in Folklore. Department of Anthropology; PhD. University of Chicago; performing the diseased body and its therapeutic intervention, biomedical and vernacular; theorizing relations between narrative and violence; mediatization and its reified objects; creating modern subjects by creating their “traditional” Others.
Faculty Profile

Judith Butler, Professor. Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature; PhD. Yale University; Performance and Identity.
Faculty Profile

Joe Goode, Professor. Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies; BFA, Virginia Commonwealth University; choreography and interdisciplinary performance.
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Jocelyne Guilbault, Professor. Department of Music; PhD. University of Michigan; Ethnomusicology; Caribbean Musics (popular and traditional); Creolization; Power; Cultural Politics; Nationalism; Diaspora.
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Andrew Jones, Professor. Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures; PhD. UC Berkeley; Children’s Literature; Chinese Popular Music; East Asian Languages and Cultures; Literary Translation; Media Technology; Modern Chinese Fiction; Sonic Culture.
Faculty Profile

Anton Kaes, Professor. Department of German and Film Studies; PhD. Stanford University; modern German theater (Expressionism, Brecht; and the theater of the 1920s); postmodernist theater and film; the relationship between theater and film; theory of film, Critical Theory, and Cultural Studies.
Faculty Profile

John Lie, Professor. Department of Sociology; Chair, Center for Korean Studies; PhD. Harvard University; social theory, political economy, Korean diaspora.
Faculty Profile

Susan Schweik, Professor. Department of English; PhD. Yale University; Disability Studies; Poetry; 20th-Century American Literature; 19th-Century American literature; Cultural Studies; Gender & Sexuality Studies; Race and Ethnicity.
Faculty Profile

Affiliated Associate Professors

Paola Bacchetta, Associate Professor. Department of Gender & Women’s Studies; PhD. in Sociology from The Sorbonne, Paris; transnational feminist and queer theories; inseparabilities of gender, sexuality, “race”-racism,postcoloniality; Hindu nationalism; global political conflict; feminist and queer of color, and right wing, movement discourses and practices in the U.S., India  and France; transnational feminist and queer alliances.
Faculty Profile

Saba Mahmood, Associate Professor. Department of Anthropology; PhD. Stanford University; Anthropology of Subject Formation, Liberalism, and Secular Modernity; Feminist and Poststructuralist Theory; Religion and Politics; Islam, the Middle East, and South Asia.
Faculty Profile

Retired Faculty

Vasudha Dalmia, Professor. Department of South and South East Asian Studies; PhD. Jawaharlal Nehru University; Hindi Drama and other Indian Theater traditions; Brecht.
Faculty Profile

Dru Dougherty, Professor. Department of Spanish and Portuguese; PhD. Harvard University; Spanish drama, especially of the early 20th century.
Faculty Profile

Mel Gordon, Professor. Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies; PhD. New York University; Modern and Contemporary European Theater; Popular entertainment.
Faculty Profile

Linda Williams, Professor. Departments of Film Studies and Rhetoric; PhD. University of Colorado; Popular Moving-Image Genres (Pornography, Melodrama, and “Body Genres” of all sorts); Eastern and Western Forms of Melodrama; Film Theory.
Faculty Profile

Contact Information

Graduate Group in Performance Studies

15A Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-664-7613

performancestudies@berkeley.edu

Visit Graduate Group Website

Graduate Student Services Adviser

Robin Davidson

15A Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-664-7613

performancestudies@berkeley.edu

Head Graduate Adviser

Shannon Steen, PhD

15H Dwinelle Hall

steen21@berkeley.edu

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