Introduction Toward an Anthropology of Performance Frank J. Korom I. Performance in Prehistory and Antiquity 1. "Singing the Rug: Patterned Textiles and the Origins of Indo-European Metrical Poetry Anthony Tuck 2. Performance and Written Literature in Classical Greece Rosalind Thomas II. Verbal Genres of Performance 3. Playing the Dozens Roger A. Abrahams 4. The La Have Island General Store: Sociability and Verbal Art in a Nova Scotia Community R. Bauman 5. Proverbs and the Ethnography of Speaking E. O. Arewa and A. Dundes 6. Gbaya Riddles in Changing Times P. A. Noss 7. Shadows of Song: Exploring Research and Performance Strategies in Yolngu Women's Crying Songs Fiona Magowan III. Ritual, Drama, and Public Spectacle 8. Prayer as Person: The Performative Force in Navajo Prayer Acts Sam D. Gill 9. Performance and the Cultural Construction of Reality E. L. Schieffelin 10. He Should Have Worn a Sari Joyce Flueckiger 11. Representing History: Performing the Columbian Exposition R. K. Bank 12. The Palio of Siena: Performance and Process A. P. Logan IV. Performance and Politics in the Making of Communities 13. Poetry and Politics in a Transylvanian Village G. Kligman 14. The Matter of Talk: Political Performance in Bhatgaon D. Brenneis 15. Celebrating Cricket: The Symbolic Construction of Caribbean Politics F. E. Manning 16. Performing the Nation: China's Children as Little Red Pioneers T. W. Woronov V. Tourist Performances and the Global Ecumene 17. The Promise of Sonic Translation: Performing the Festive Sacred in Morocco Deborah Kapchan 18. Ethnic Tourism in Hokkaido and the Shaping of Ainu Identity Lisa Hiwasaki 19. What They Came With: Carnival and the Persistence of African Performance Aesthetics in the Diaspora Esiaba Irobi 20. Global Breakdancing and the Intercultural Body Halifu Osumare
Academic interests: Anthropology of performance, cultural studies of Burning Man, play studies, theatre, disease, nutrition, classical Studies
Biography: Francine Melia, recently completed her third year as a Ph.D. student in cultural anthropology; she lived in Queens, New York for 21 years before moving to Indiana in 2006 and then to Nevada in 2008. Her original interest was in archaeology, but a love for theatre prompted Francine to change her subfield during her MA program and pursue the anthropological study of performance instead. Combining her love for anthropology with a passion for theatre culminated in her MA thesis, The Self at Play?: A Case Study of Reification and Dereification in the "Play Environment" of American College Theatre. She plans to continue in this particular subfield during her Ph.D. studies, and chose the unique "culture of Burning Man" as her area of focus.
This cutting-edge volume on the major advancements in performance studies presents the theories, methods, and practices of performance in cultures around the globe. Prominent anthropologists outline the scope of performance studies across anthropology, folklore, art and religious studies, providing an invaluable guide in this exciting and growing area. The anthology focuses on the way in which performances, broadly construed as acting aesthetically on or off stage, figure in the anthropological study of culture. Drawing on a wide range of phenomena, and employing fascinating case studies, the volume successfully demonstrates how human beings communicate with one another - both verbally and non-verbally - through the use of stylized or expressive behavior. "The Anthropology of Performance" has been accessibly arranged into a number of thematic sets, and structured in a way that introduces new and advanced students to the task of studying and interpreting complex social, cultural, and political events from a performance perspective. It begins with a valuable theoretical introduction by the editor which contextualizes and frames the subsequent chapters. It is an indispensable volume in this interdisciplinary field for anthropologists, folklorists, sociologists, theatre studies specialists, and the interested general reader.