Chair & Organizer (American Studies Association, Atlanta, 2018)
On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Peggy Phelan’s Unmarked: The Politics of Performance (1993), panelists will reflect on this field-shaping work of theory and criticism. Unmarked may have emerged a quarter-century ago, but it’s also still emerging, still inspiring new work and fresh thinking about its core concern: the relationship between performance and politics. In brief remarks, panelists will consider the book’s legacy, reflect on developments in the field, and suggest future directions for such work. After a response from Professor Phelan, the session will open into a broader discussion with the audience.
Topics of particular emphasis will include: (1) the history of relations between two fields, American studies and performance studies; (2) the role that performance theory has played, currently plays, and might yet play in American cultural studies, and (3) the history and future of performance scholarship at the American Studies Association.