Interview with Anabelle Contreras Castro, conducted by Diana Taylor, founding 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.
Anabelle Contreras Castro did her undergraduate work in Anthropology at the University of Costa Rica and went on to complete her MA and PhD in Latin American Studies at the Freie Universitaet Berlin. She has participated as a guest researcher at the Freie Universitaet Berlin, and in various programs financed by the DAAD (German Service for Academic Exchange), and the Max Plank Institute, as well as in numerous international workshops, conferences, and seminars. She is a professor at the School for Scenic Arts and the coordinator of the Interdisciplinary doctorate of Central American Arts and Letters at the National University of Costa Rica. She is also a dramaturge on the independent theater group Abya Yala. Her research and investigations have developed in the areas of identities in Central America, youth cultures, gender, popular culture and media.