Department of Performance Studies

https://liberalarts.tamu.edu/performancestudies

Interim Head: Steven Oberhelman

Graduate Advisor: Leonardo Cardoso

The Master’s in Performance Studies at Texas A&M University is built around a multifaceted understanding of performance. Using a wide range of qualitative methods and theoretical frameworks (from dramaturgical analysis to ethnography and phenomenology), our graduate faculty has expertise in the study of religion and spirituality; theater, media and technology; popular music; state affairs; law; diplomacy; martial arts; urbanism; dance; race; ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. They have conducted research in the US, Ghana, Brazil, Japan, Trinidad, and Spain. The unique perspective each of our faculty brings is what makes our MA distinctive when compared to similar programs in the country.

Our two-year graduate program offers a true mix of scholarship and practice: besides learning and discussing ideas from a close reading of texts, students have room to explore other modes of knowledge transmission, such as concerts and exhibitions.

We keep our graduate classes small to give each student ample opportunity to engage more deeply with the course materials in class discussions. Our students often come from all parts of the world (the US, Mexico, Nicaragua, Ukraine, Ghana, Nigeria, South Korea, to name a few), which stimulates cross-cultural debates in our seminars. 

Students can choose between the thesis and the non-thesis track. The thesis track requires the submission of a 40-60-page monograph. It is recommended for students who want to focus on their writing skills. The non-thesis track includes different combinations of written and non- written components (from a thesis-like format to a performance-centered project). This track is recommended for students interested in designing plays, concerts, installations, exhibitions, short films, websites, and similar projects. In both tracks, students develop their research projects with the guidance of an advisor. 

In addition to class projects, students have the opportunity to participate in our Colloquium Series and in the various events organized by the Glasscock Center.

Our MA prepares students to pursue a broad range of career paths, particularly in cultural institutions (such as museums), intercultural industries (such as tourism), and in the media/communication sector (music production, for instance). Our recent graduates have found jobs as project coordinators at organizations such as Texas FolklifeSafe SpaceEMERGE FellowshipPBK, Hands on Nashville, and the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Center. Others have used the skills learned in the program to embark on an artist-scholar career.

Students interested in continuing their academic training have been admitted to highly competitive Ph.D. programs around the country (Indiana University, Northwestern University, University of California, Davis, among others).

 

PERF 600 Graduate Scholarship in Performance Studies

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Overview of history, key issues, and major arguments in performance studies.
Prerequisites: Admission to the MA in Performance Studies or approval of instructor.

PERF 601 Theories of Performance Studies

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Overview of major theories of performance studies and related disciplines; also includes major critical and cultural theories that contribute to the field.
Prerequisites: Admission to the MA in Performance Studies or approval of instructor.

PERF 602 Research Methods in Performance Studies

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Examination and assessment of primary research methods in performance studies; emphasis on post-positivist methods; includes examination of ethical imperatives in research.
Prerequisite: Admission to the MA in Performance Studies or approval of instructor.

PERF 603 Performance, Power, and Identity

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Issues in, and production of, power and identity in expressive culture, examines how forms of power and varieties of social identity shape, and are shaped by, performance.
Prerequisites: PERF 600 or approval of instructor.

PERF 604 Performing Vernacular Culture

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Examines populist and counter-traditions in expressive culture; emphasis on contemporary cultures of performance and/as practices of everyday life.
Prerequisites: PERF 600 or approval of instructor.

PERF 605 Globalization and Performance

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Examination of global performances; theoretical and methodological approaches to globalization and/in performance and/as practices of everyday life.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification.

PERF 606 Performing Gender and Sexuality through Music

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Examination of how gendered and sexual identities are explored and contested through musical performance.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification.

PERF 607 Performance and Technology

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Exploration of the intersection of performance and technology; special emphasis on the impact of technology on aesthetics, social and political formations, and the body.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification.

PERF 608 Performance and the Art of Government

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Examination of performance in political processes and institutions; using the tools of performance studies to analyze and interpret the work of states and governments.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification.

PERF 610 Graduate Studies in Dance Research

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Examines key theoretical and methodological issues in dance studies from a performance studies perspective.
Prerequisite: PERF 602 or approval of instructor.

PERF 611 Religions, Spiritualties, and Performance

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Examines the intricate relationship between religious traditions and performance. Focus on contemporary religious movements.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification.

PERF 613 Performing Texas

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Explores "Texas" as a set of complex performances that construct specific identities and communities.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification.

PERF 614 Soundscapes

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Explores sound in social life; sound as performative of identity; sound performance.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification.

PERF 615 Spectacle and Performance

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Examination of various popular performances as spectacle.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification.

PERF 616 Sport as Performance

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Explores sport as manifold modes of cultural performance; focus on embodiment, gender, race, nationalism, spectacle, politics, warfare, and media.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification.

PERF 620 Critical Ethnographic Methods in Performance Studies

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Critical methods in performance ethnography; emphasis on political dimensions of field encounter. May be taken two times for credit.
Prerequisites: PERF 600; PERF 602.

PERF 621 Graduate Studies in Popular Music Research

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Examination of context, politics, and political economy of specific popular music forms.
Prerequisite: Graduation classification.

PERF 622 Performance and the Construction of American Identity

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Role of performance in construction of national identity; special emphasis on post-Civil War US.
Prerequisites: PERF 600, PEF 601, PERF 602, or approval of instructor.

PERF 623 Phenomenology and Music

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Theoretical and methodological potentials of phenomenology in analyses of music; special emphasis on use of phenomenology to examine multiple aspects of music production, including embodiment.
Prerequisites: PERF 600, PERF 601, PERF 602, or approval of instructor.

PERF 625 Latino/a Expressive Culture

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Explores how issues concerning Latinos, including race and ethnicity, religion, border politics, immigration, the drug war, family, gender and sexuality, and class, are reflected and debated through expressive forms of performance such as theater, comedy music, folklore and performance art.
Prerequisite: Acceptance into the MA in Performance Studies program or approval of instructor.

PERF 682 American Theatre: Gender on the U.S. Stage

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Focuses on 18th-21st century texts and performers in order to account for transformations in representations as well as lived experiences of gender.
Prerequisite: Enrollment in the MA in Performance Studies or approval of instructor.

PERF 685 Directed Studies

Credits 1 to 3. 1 to 3 Other Hours.

Directed studies in specific areas of performance studies. Student may take up to two sections of directed studies in the same semester, with a maximum of 6 credits.
Prerequisites: PERF 600, PERF 601, PERF 602, or approval of instructor.

PERF 689 Special Topics in Performance Studies

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Selected topics in an identified area of performance studies. May be repeated for a total of 9 credits.
Prerequisites: PERF 600, PERF 601, PERF 602, or approval of instructor.

PERF 691 Research

Credits 1 to 3. 1 to 3 Other Hours.

Research for thesis.
Prerequisites: Approval of department head.

Ball III, James R, Assistant Professor
Performance Studies
PHD, New York University, 2012

Cardoso De Cardoso, Leonardo, Assistant Professor
Performance Studies
PHD, University of Texas at Austin, 2013
MMU, University of Texas at Austin, 2010

Dexter, Rayna M, Instructional Assistant Professor
Performance Studies
MFA, Kent State University, 2009

Donkor, David A, Associate Professor
Performance Studies
PHD, Northwestern University, 2008

Dox, Donnalee, Professor
Performance Studies
PHD, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 1995

Gariazzo, Mariana S, Instructional Assistant Professor
Performance Studies
PHD, University of Texas, 2005

Kattari, Kimberly A, Associate Professor
Performance Studies
PHD, University of Texas at Austin, 2011
MMU, University of Texas at Austin, 2005

Lieuwen, Peter E, Professor
Performance Studies
PHD, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1984

Morris, Jeffrey M, Associate Professor
Performance Studies
PHD, University of North Texas, 2007

Regan, Martin P, Associate Professor
Performance Studies
PHD, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 2006

Spalink, Angenette Marie, Assistant Professor
Performance Studies
PHD, Bowling Green State University, 2014

Wilborn, David F, Associate Professor
Performance Studies
PHD, University of Texas, 1994