Cultural Performance in Asia

What is the form and function of theatricality in contemporary Asian society? The module seeks to answer this question by investigating a range of live events, including religious rituals, firework displays, tourist performances, and parades. In recent years, these collective practices of symbolic action and meaning-making that prioritise the live over the mediated have become known as "cultural performance". The methodological perspectives of Performance Studies - anthropology, ethnography, critical theory, aesthetics - will be deployed to contextualise ritual and theatricality as integral to the practices of spectacle and display that contribute so arrestingly to social reality in urban Asia.

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