College of Communication > About > College News > 2016 News Archive > CMN Hosts Performance Theory Conference

College of Communication Hosts Performance Theory Conference

Associate Professor Dustin Goltz, along with fellow scholars Kimberlee Pérez of University of Massachusetts Amherst and Mindy Fenske of University of South Carolina, will host a newly created conference to examine the role of performance theory in communication studies on July 14-15, 2016 at DePaul’s College of Communication.  

"Critical Performance Dialogues: Skepticisms and Imaginaries" is a pilot conference developed by Goltz, Pérez and Fenske, to “push, extend, and re-imagine the role of performance theory in communication studies.”  Select scholars from over twenty universities have been invited to participate.  The conference will feature a series of thematic workshops where participants will prepare positions and responses in advance to inform various working groups that will address current issues and opportunities in the discipline.   

"Critical Performance Dialogues" was conceived as a option to compliment the current array of performance-related conferences and festivals while offering an option on a smaller scale with a pointed focus.  “We wanted to pilot a new format that centralized the role of theory, and specifically critical theory, in performance scholarship,” Goltz describes. “As a large and very diverse field of colleagues who work at cross-sections of art, theory, and activism, we are trying a format of a very small group of colleagues from across our field to come together for two days and explore, discuss, challenge, and extend the scope and directions of contemporary performance theory.”

The creators of “Critical Performance Dialogues” hope that participating scholars emerge galvanized about the role of performance theory in the study of communication, with a shared vision of the future direction of the field. “Performance is about social action, understanding how systems of power and oppression are rehearsed daily, and how critical intervention can open up alternatives ways of being and building community,” says Goltz. “There is a strong commitment to the role of art and social activism in performance studies, and that is fueled by an urgency for our work to not only speak to contemporary social issues, but DO social justice work in the world.”

For more information on coursework in Performance Studies in the College of Communication, see the Performance Studies Minor webpage.