Craig Pesti-Strobel Papers and Articles on Performance
Performance Studies: Is It Real?
This paper represents an early discussion of the two main streams represented in the field of scholarly study called "Performance Studies." It was originally written in the early 1990s as a research paper during my doctoral research. Much has developed in the field since that time, but this paper gives a fairly good presentation of the status of the field as I found it at that time.
Performance, Performance Studies, and a Performance Hermeneutic
In this paper, I argue for a Performance Hermeneutic, which is, essentially, an embodied form of interpretation that operates by means of performance. I argue that when texts, written and otherwise, are performed by an embodied person, the very phenomenon of human embodiment brings an entirely new, and fuller, level of understanding and meaning to the text, above that understanding that relies simply on human cognition.
Performance Midrash: Returning the Body to Biblical Interpretation
In this article, I extend the idea of a Performance Hermeneutic into a performance-based improvisatory exercise with a group of participants in interpreting a story from the Hebrew Scriptures by means of performance. the argument for a Performance Hermeneutic is recapitulated from the preceding article, and then a description of the actual embodied process of interpretation is described. In addition, I argue that this process becomes an example of an embodied hermeneutics of suspicion.
A Performative Approach to the Comparative Study of Religions
In this paper, I describe a performative approach to studying religion, which utilizes the whole observational and perceptive apparatus of a fully-embodied human being. The bodily-felt sensations, emotions, movement-expressions that impinge upon the participant-researcher are important inclusions in the gathering of data and observation. this paper lays out the rationale behind embodied research and study protocols.
This paper extends the discussion of what a performative approach to the comparative study of religion in the preceding paper and applies it to a college-level introductory course in Religious Studies. A full course syllabus is included for a class entitled, "Experiences of Human Religious Expression." This paper and course design served as one of my Comprehensive Exams for my Ph.D in Interdisciplinary Studies: Performance Studies and Religious Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California .