Interview with João Gabriel Teixeira, conducted by Marcos Steuernagel, Special Collections Fellow at 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.
João Gabriel Lima Cruz Teixeira graduated in Social Sciences at Universidade Federal da Bahia (1968); he also holds a Master in Interamerican Studies from the University of Miami (1970), and a Doctorate in Sociology from the University of Sussex (1984). He is currently Associated Professor II at Universidade de Brasília. He finished post-graduate programs at the New School for Social Research, New York (1993-1994), and the Maison des Sciences de l´Homme, Paris Nord (2003-2004). Professor Teixeira works on Sociology of Art, with emphasis in theory and practice of performance. His research interests include performance and identity, culture, art, theater, and education. He has edited, with Letícia Vianna, the book ‘As artes populares no planalto central: performance e identidade’ (2010), and has recently published ‘Brasília 50 anos: arte e cultura’ (2011), where he reflects upon the capital city of Brazil. His work is based not only on the analysis of social indicators, but also on productive conversations with cultural figures born and/or raised in Brasilia, to propose questions about the relationship between society and its artistic representations.