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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
February 2024
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Book description

We often know performance when we see it – but how should we investigate it? And how should we interpret what we find out? This book demonstrates why and how mixed methods research is necessary for investigating and explaining performance and advancing new critical agendas in cultural study. The wide range of aesthetic forms, cultural meanings, and social functions found in theatre and performance globally invites a corresponding variety of research approaches. The essays in this volume model reflective consideration of the means, processes, and choices for conducting performance research that is historical, ethnographic, aesthetic, or computational. An international set of contributors address what is meant by planning or designing a research project, doing research (locating and collecting primary sources or resources), and the ensuing work of interpreting and communicating insights. Providing illuminating and necessary guidance, this volume is an essential resource for scholars and students of theatre, performance, and dance.


‘This collection feels like a masterclass with the leading teachers of research methods in our field. It gathers contributions from an international group of distinguished scholars, assembling them in a dynamic organizational structure.’

Shannon Jackson - University of California, Berkeley

‘This field-defining volume is a sorely needed clarion call. Those of us working in theatre and performance studies too rarely consider “how research comes into being”. What we need is fresh energy and new direction concerning methodologies. These essays, theoretically abundant and transnational in scope, offer just that and will reinvigorate the field for years to come.’

Douglas A. Jones - Duke University

‘Sophisticated, pragmatic, and eminently readable, this Guide will be a core text in all methods and methodologies courses in theatre and performance studies, and will be required reading for anyone doing research in the field: archival, embodied, ethnographic, interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, practice-based, unconventional, or any mixture of the above.’

Ric Knowles - University of Guelph

‘A must-read for theatre and performance scholars and artists. Excellently curated with great attention to practical, theoretical, and pedagogical uses, this book provokes thinking through what we mean by “performance as method” in theatre and performance studies research. Researchers seeking ways to decolonize thinking, activate Indigenous approaches, and integrate methodologies of inclusion in their work will find gems of ideas in this collection.’

Jazmin Llana - De La Salle University

‘This is a terrific volume. Including a wide range of academic voices, the book invites researchers to experiment with methods and working processes that are sited, situated, and contextually located. It is critically astute, well balanced, and thought-provoking, and will inspire and inform scholars for years to come.’

Helen Nicholson - Royal Holloway, University of London

‘A smart, rigorously conceived, and eminently readable collection that reveals how thinking about methods takes us right to the heart of what and how we research in theatre and performance studies. I expect this book will inspire scholarship and guide teaching for years to come.’

Heike Roms - University of Exeter

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