Finding My Definition of Performance Studies

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This week, the readings focused on a newer area of communication studies, performance studies. I am classifying performance studies as a newer area even if it has been around for a while, because it was not mentioned specifically in any of the previous articles or books we read for this class that attempted to recreate the history of communication. However, with some of the articles and books there are arguably sections that could imply performance studies. That being said, I personally have struggled with connecting performance studies to communication studies instead of theatre. Prior to taking Performance Methods this semester, I assumed that performance studies attempted to focus on being something different from the stereotypical Shakespearean based plays and did not belong in the area of communication studies. This definition of performance studies has evolved for two reasons. The first reason is the type of readings that I have been exposed to from this class and from Performance Methods. The other reason is being forced to create an original Bauhaus performance for Performance Methods.
The first part is gaining a better understanding of performance studies through articles and books that I have had to read for this class and Performance Methods. One part that I especially appreciate is that the readings this week provided and answer for what performance studies really means to communication studies. First is the notion that they provide research to the study. Take the articles this week as a prime example. The article, “Research Interpretation and Performance Studies: Trends, Issues, Priorities” attempted to bring a new purpose to the field through addressing areas such as study within the field include text-ce...

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...ion and then answer it, it allowed me to value the process by which I answered my question. I worked with the Bauhaus method which required me to use answer a question through an elaborate costume, and organized movement that matched a piece of Bauhaus art. As it can be a challenging method to totally wrap your head around, I found the process that I created my performance to be more rewarding than the final performance for my grade. Due in part to having to rethink how I research.
It is the combination of the articles, books, and by actually performing a method using a performance methodology that I was able to redefine how I feel about performance studies. After my semester here at the University of North Texas, I will return to the University of Texas at Arlington with different definition of performance studies and a different definition of communication.
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