Events / Performance Ethnography

Performance Ethnography Working Group Update

The Performance Ethnography Working Group met for the first time on Friday the 7th of February, 2020 in the Sensorium Loft at York University. We had a diverse, multidisciplinary group of 15 participants. Some were of a humanities background, coming from Anthropology and Environmental Studies. Others were of a fine arts background, coming from Dance, Theatre and Performance Studies. Participants were of a variety of stages in their academic careers. Some participants were full time or part time faculty. Of the graduate students, some were completing coursework; others working on their dissertation; some were on hiatus.

Following introductions, working group co-leaders Dr. Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston and Dr. Cassandra Hartblay gave a short introduction with a synopsis of theoretical perspectives on what performance ethnography is.

Our first group activity involved re-performing impressions from a walk through campus. As a group, we took a silent walk around our building. Our group lingered on echoing sounds of footsteps in a reverb-rich stairwell, solipsistic phone-staring, and the dripping of water.

We broke up into group to re-perform these observations. Performers took the assignment in a variety of directions. Some engaged in experiments with improvised text; others pursued possibilities with technology. Some thickly scripted and organized movement while others left more room for improvisation.

We are looking forward to our next meeting on March 6th from 2-5 in ACE 207 at YorkU.

Summary composed by Sadie Hochman, PhDPerformance Ethnography Working Group RA

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