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Indiana University Bloomington

Performance and Ethnography | Reading List

Revised 8/10/2011

A. Performance readings:

1. Armstrong, Robert Plant. 1981. The Powers of Presence: Consciousness, Myth, and Affecting Presence, pp. 3-20. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

2. Auslander, Philip. 2008. Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture, 2nd ed. London: Routledge. Chs. 1-2 pp 1-72.

3. Babcock, Barbara. 1987. “Reflexivity.” In The Encyclopedia of Religion. Mircea Eliade, ed. Vol. 12, pp. 234-38. New York: Macmillan.

4. Barber, Karin. 1997. “Preliminary notes on audiences in Africa.” Africa 67(3):347-362.

5. Bauman, Richard. 1977. Verbal Art as Performance. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.

6. Brecht Bertolt. 1957 [1936]. “Alienation Effects in Chinese Acting.” Brecht on Theatre, trans. John Willett, pp. 91-99. NY: Hill & Wang.

7. Bruner, Edward M. and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett. 1994. “Maasai on the lawn: tourist realism in East Africa. “ Cultural Anthropology 9(4):435-70.

8. Hymes, Dell. 1981[1975]. “Breakthrough into Performance.” In "In Vain I Tried to Tell You": Essays in Native American Ethnopoetics, pp. 79-141. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

9. Irvine, Judith T. 1979. “Formality and Informality in Communicative Events.” American Anthropologist 81:773-90.

10. Jakobson, Roman. 1960. Closing Statement: Linguistics and Poetics. In Sebeok, Thomas A., ed. Style in Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Pp. 350-377.

11. Schechner, Richard. 1981. "Restoration of Behavior." Studies in Visual Communication 7:2-45.

12. Schieffelin, Edward L. 1985. “Performance and the cultural construction of reality.” American Ethnologist 12(4): 707-24.

13. Turner, Victor. 1967 Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites de Passage." In Turner, The Forest of Symbols. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

B. Ethnography Readings:

14. Abu-Lughod, Leila. Writing Against Culture. In Fox, Richard G. (ed.), Recapturing Anthropology: Working in the Present.  Pp. 137-162.

15. Appadurai, Arjun. 1996. “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Economy.” In Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Pp. 27-47. University of Minnesota Press.

16. Briggs, Charles. 1986. Learning How to Ask: A Sociolinguistic Appraisal of the Role of the Interview in Social Science Research, pp. 1-6, 39-60, 102-125. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.

17. Clifford, James.  1986. “Introduction: Partial Truths.” In Clifford, James and George E. Marcus, eds. Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Berkeley: University of California Press.

18. Clifford, James. 1988 (1983).  “On Ethnographic Authority.” In The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art. Harvard.  Pp. 21-54.

19. Geertz, Clifford. 1973. "Thick Description." In The Interpretation of Cultures. Basic Books. Pp. 3-30.

20. Ginsburg, Faye, Lila Abu-Lughod and Brian Larkin, eds. 2002. Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California.


A. Ginsburg, Faye. “Screen Memories: Resignifying the Traditional in Indigenous Media.”

B. Turner, Terence. “Representation, Politics, and Cultural Imagination in Indigenous Video: General Point and Kayapo Examples.”

C. Abu-Lughod, Lila. “Egyptian Melodrama? Technology of the Modern Subject?”

D. Mankekar, Purnima. “Epic Contests: Television and Religious Identity in India.”

E. Mandel, Ruth. “A Marshall Plan of the Mind: The Political Economy of a Kazakh Soap Opera.”

F. Ganti, Tejaswini. "And Yet My Heart Is Still Indian:" The Bombay Film Industry and the (H)Indianization of Hollywood.”

G. Himpele, Jeff D. “Arrival Scenes: Complicity and Media Ethnography in the Bolivian Public Sphere.”

H. Spitulnik, Debra. “Mobile Machines and Fluid Audiences: Rethinking Reception through Zambian Radio Culture.”

21. Gupta, Akhil and James Ferguson, eds. 1997. Anthropological Locations: Boundaries and Grounds of a Field Science. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.


A. Gupta, Akhil and James Ferguson. “Discipline and Practice: `The Field’ as Site, Method and Location in Anthropology,” pp. 1-46.

B. Weston, Kath. “The Virtual Anthropologist,” pp. 163-184.

C. Clifford, James. “Spatial Practices: Fieldwork, Travel and the Disciplining of Anthropology,” pp, 185-222.

22. Manovich, Lev. 2002. The Language of New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

23. Meintjes, Louise. 2003. Sound of Africa! Making Music Zulu in a South African Studio. Durham: Duke University Press.

24. Narayan, Kirin. “How Native Is a `Native’ Anthropologist?” American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 95, No. 3 (Sep., 1993), pp. 671-686.

C. Foundational Theoretical Readings:

25. Anderson, Benedict. 1991. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.

26. Roberts, Graham (author) and Pam Morris (ed.) 1998. The Bakhtin Reader: Selected Writings of Bakhtin, Medvedev, Voloshinov. London and New York: E. Arnold.