Performance Studies | Communication Studies | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

studying nook

Graduate Performance Studies

Performance studies considers historical and contemporary aesthetic communication in both everyday life and the heightened, staged events more typically associated with the word “performance.” Everyday life performance coursework includes conversational performance, gender and performance, and performance and identity, as well as performance in political contexts such as performance and the environment. We also offer coursework in conspicuously aesthetic performance, including adaptation of literature for the stage, performance art, autobiographical performance, ethnographic performance, and performance in mediated environments. Students combine theory and practice into an artistic/scholarly praxis by studying and embodying performance history related to these forms, methods for performance composition, the evolution of performance theory, performance as a mode of inquiry, and critical approaches to documenting and analyzing performance as a communicative encounter.  Students have the opportunity to work with faculty to create productions in our Kleinau Theatre as a stepping stone to presenting their work at conventions, fringe festivals, and professional performance spaces.

Recent Courses Offered

  • The Lyric Voice in Autoethnography
  • Studies in Tourism
  • Performance Criticism
  • Performance Art
  • Queer Theory & Performance
  • Performance History and Criticism
  • Communication and Popular Culture
  • Performance Theory and Criticism
  • Prose Fiction in Performance
  • Performance Methodologies
  • Performance Ethnography
  • Performing Nature
  • Production Texts and Contexts
  • Autoethnography
  • Literature as Case Study
  • Communication and Gender
  • Performance, Culture, and Technology
  • Political Performance
  • Poetry in Performance
  • Performing Historical Figures