We understand performance as both an object of inquiry and as a lens through which to view the world.

We are committed to a notion of process, both in understanding performance activity, and identities, cultures, and representation. We understand practice not only as an important counterweight to theory, but as a mode of inquiry in its own right. We focus on a broadly inclusive definition of historical and contemporary performance forms, including consciously staged performances in theater, dance, film, new media, ritual, political activism, public demonstrations, writing, the visual arts, music and everyday performances in virtual and real life. We understand that studying performance is studying a way of doing, and that bridging the theoretical and the practical within disciplinary and transdisciplinary formations is a powerful means of enhancing both theory and practice.

Composed of four clusters of interest – Interactive Medias, Cultures/Ecologies, Text/History, and Embodiments – the graduate group engages students in ways of thinking about performance that are historically, politically, culturally, and rhetorically informed, using tools from theater studies, dance studies, anthropology, sociology, film studies, visual culture, linguistics, literary studies, ethnography, ethnomusicology, computer science, feminist theory and women’s studies, technocultural studies, religion, critical race and ethnic studies, critical theory, cultural studies as well as the emerging canon of performance theory. Students are accepted into the program to pursue their inquiry either through traditional scholarly methodologies (archival research, ethnographic practice, theoretical and historical inquiry) or through practice as research, in which students are engaged simultaneously in the process of creation and analysis.



The larger graduate community at UC Davis values a diversity of viewpoints, backgrounds, andexperiences among its students with the knowledge that a diverse student body strengthens the research, scholarship, and teaching of all members of our community. As a part of our commitment to diversity there are numerous resources, events, and professional staff available to meet the needs of our diverse graduate students as they achieve their professional, educational, and career goals. Please feel free to contact Dr. Josephine Moreno, at mjmoreno@ucdavis.edu, UC Davis’ Graduate Diversity Officer for HArCS, Social Sciences and Education graduate programs with any questions or concerns regarding diversity and Graduate Studies. For the latest on Grad Diversity initiatives please visit https://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/about-us/priorities-initiatives/diversity. The UC Davis campus-wide Principles of Community can be accessed at http://occr.ucdavis.edu/poc/.