INTRODUCTION: Performance as Anthropological Focus and Framework

Lauren Miller, David Syring

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript


This chapter demonstrates the vast utility of performance anthropology approaches regardless of the specific topic one studies. Visual anthropologist, weaver, filmmaker, and award-winning photographer Andrea Heckman centers the role of fabric in understanding the performance of ritual. While costumes and textiles are often considered secondary in the analysis of events, Heckman presents the ways clothing, embodiment, and sense of self are intimately wrapped up in the folds of a dress or costume. Embracing performance as a way of knowing opens anthropologists to new ways of understanding classic topics of concern such as religion and spirit possession. The case of Irish dance is interesting for many reasons, including how strongly it resonates with members of the Irish diaspora. The globalization of art forms that are so intimately tied to identity—particularly marginalized identities—raises interesting questions about the cultural appropriation and cultural translation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to the Anthropology of Performance
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781000907902
ISBN (Print)9781032381855
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 selection and editorial matter, Lauren Miller and David Syring.


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