Interview with Patrick Anderson: What is Performance Studies? (2007)

Interview with Patrick Anderson: What is Performance Studies? (2007) HIDVL

Interview with Patrick Anderson, conducted by Marcial Godoy-Anativia, associate director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. This interview is a part of a series curated by the Hemispheric Institute, articulated around the question 'What is Performance Studies?' The series aims to provide a multifaceted approach to the often difficult task of defining the coordinates of both a field of academic study as well as a lens through which to assess and document cultural practice and embodied behavior. The contingent definitions documented in this series are based on the groundbreaking experiences and the scholarly endeavors of renowned figures in contemporary performance studies and practice.


Patrick Anderson is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California, San Diego, where he is also affiliated with the Critical Gender Studies Program and the Ethnic Studies Department. Anderson graduated from the School of Communication of Northwestern University with a double major in Performance Studies and Anthropology. He holds an M.A. in Cultural Studies/Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies (with a designated emphasis in women, gender, and sexuality) from the University of California-Berkeley. Professor Anderson received a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research on ritual performance in Sri Lanka. His background includes training and experience in theater and dance, film, cultural studies, queer and gender studies, ethnic studies, political geography, psychoanalysis, and anthropology.

Bridging the fields of performance studies and cultural studies, Professor Anderson's work explores enactments of violence and productions of political subjectivity within institutional domains including the prison, the clinic, the gallery, and the theater. His book So Much Wasted: Hunger, Performance, and the Morbidity of Resistance (Duke University Press 2010) explores hunger striking, anorexia nervosa, and staged fasts as spectacular, radically charged practices that attempt to intervene in ideological state sovereignty. His book Violence Performed: Local Roots and Global Routes of Conflict (Palgrave/Macmillan 2009), a collection of essays co-edited with Jisha Menon, interrogates violence as performance and performative in contemporary global politics. His work-in-progress includes a mixed-genre book on illness and memory, and a critical study of the role of empathy in contemporary American performance practice and inter-cultural discourse.


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Additional Info

  • TItle: Interview with Patrick Anderson: What is Performance Studies?
  • Date: 10 Nov 2007
  • Location: The Hemispheric Institute, New York, New York.
  • Interviewee: Patrick Anderson
  • Interviewer: Marcial Godoy
  • Duration: 00:05:43
  • Language: English