Cultural Studies and Performance: Poetics, Aesthetic Thought and the Concept of Performance

-  Dr Saumyabrata Choudhury / Samik Bandopadhyay

The course aims to provide a historical and methodological introduction to contemporary performance theory. The hypothesis underlying its construction is that “performance” is not a simple or self evident term in the study of theatre, or the wider area of cultural studies; rather it is a field of force which emerges out of certain conceptual and non conceptual tensions and inter relationships constituting the core history of poetics and aesthetics in the context of western philosophical thought. This will carry out hopefully the conviction that towards the close of the course it may be possible to catch glimpses of ongoing practices of performance in open fields of possibilities that overrun the accepted boundaries or genres of legitimate scholarship and hallowed tradition.

Pre readings:

• Aristotle, Poetics trans, Stephen Halliwell, University of North Carolina Press 1987

• Christoph Wulf and Gunter Gebaner, Mimesis Culture-Art -Society, Berkeley, University of California 1995. • Marvin Carlson, Performance: A Critical Introduction Routledge London, 2003

• Richard Schechner, Performance Theory, PAJ, New York 1977