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This guide is intended to be an introduction to finding research materials related to the content of the course.
If you do not find what you need, please contact Sylvia Roberts, Liaison Librarian for Communication & Contemporary Arts for Contemporary Arts, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 778.782.3681. For an immediate response, use the AskAway research help service.
Discussions of performance theory and practice happen in a wide variety of publications (books, book chapters, journal articles, reviews in news sources and professional magazines). You will be able to find scholarly and professional publications in digital form, via links from the SFU Library catalogue and article databases. However, you may find useful materials are only available in print form.
If you are able to visit one of the SFU Libraries to pick up materials, you can request books from the collection. If you're interested in only part of a book (e.g. a chapter) or an article from a magazine, you can request a scan of this material which will be made available via a link in your email. Details are available on our guide to getting books and articles delivered from other SFU libraries.
As well as your course readings, we have a variety of specialized books on aspects of the African diaspora, performance studies and how these intersect in different arts and cultural practices. The following titles provide a useful entry point to this literature, providing you with key perspectives, vocabulary and additional scholarship that relates to these topics.
- Sage handbook of performance studies [print edition]
- Performance analysis: an introductory coursebook
- Theory for performance studies : a student's guide
- Key themes in interpersonal communication: culture, identities and performance
- Interculturalism and Performance Now New Directions?
- Performance, Embodiment and Cultural Memory
- Oxford Art Online references to performance studies in the context of performance art, theatre and African aesthetics
- Oxford Reference Online multidisciplinary collection of sources, including the The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance and the International Encyclopedia of Dance
- Oxford music online performance, composition and improvisation
- 21st century communication : a reference handbook
- Folklore : an encyclopedia of beliefs, customs, tales, music, and art
- Analyzing performance: a critical reader [print]
- Analyzing performance : theater, dance, and film [print]
African Diasporic arts practices
- The Sage encyclopedia of African cultural heritage in North America
- Encyclopedia of the African diaspora : origins, experiences, and culture
Afro-Atlantic histories "a selection of more than 400 works and documents by more than 200 artists from the 16th to the 21st centuries that express and analyze the ebbs and flows between Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, and Europe"
- British Dance: Black Routes
- Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora Dance Igniting Citizenship
- Fire under my feet : history, race, and agency in African diaspora dance
- West African Drumming and Dance in North American Universities An Ethnomusicological Perspective
- Performative inter-actions in African theatre. Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3
- Afrofuturism : the world of black sci-fi and fantasy culture
- Worldmaking : race, performance, and the work of creativity
- Race and performance after repetition
Sources in other disciplines may provide useful perspectives on specific aspects of disaporic performance studies, such as dance, music and visual arts, play (Education, Sociology, Psychology), ritual (Anthropology, Ethnology, Sociology) and sport. SFU Library Research Guides list background resources that can help you understand these perspectives. If you would like assistance finding the right source, Ask a Librarian.
Finding books & articles
Library Search searches library catalogue records and selected collections of full text journal articles.
Performance studies is not a standard subject heading in the Library catalogue so you will need to be a bit creative when searching for books.
Standard subject headings
To search for books by subject heading, use the Browse Search option in the SFU Library Catalogue, then select Subject browse from the drop-down menu.
- African diaspora (subheadings include "in art", "history", "in literature", "in motion pictures")
- Performance (including subheadings such as "philosophy", "semiotics", "social aspects", "political aspects")
- Performance theory
- Performance art
- Performative (Philosophy)
- Performing arts
- Experimental theater
You can also use these terms in keyword searches to find examples of scholarly studies of performance, such as:
- Intercultural performance handbook
- Contesting performance: global sites of research
- Theatre and performance in digital culture: from simulation to embeddedness
- Mapping landscapes for performance as research : scholarly acts and creative cartographies
- Theories of performance [print]
- Avant-garde performance : live events and electronic technologies [print]
Article indexes will provide you with the ability to search for articles published in both print and electronic journals. This is important because some significant content may not be available in digital form. The Where can I get this? llink in the journal indexes enable you to find digital copies of articles, if available at SFU, and to request copies of print articles from the Bennett (SFU Burnaby) or Fraser (SFU Surrey) libraries.
International Index to the Performing Arts
Multidisciplinary index to journals for the performing arts (drama, theater, dance, film, television).
Humanities & Social Sciences Index
Covers basic periodicals on all social sciences and humanities topics.
Communication & Mass Media Complete
Indexing & abstracts for over 550 journals in the fields of communication and mass media studies.
Index to reviews and journal articles on all aspects of music.
Art Full Text [formerly known as Art Index]
All aspects and periods of art.