UW Center for Performance Studies


The Center for Performance Studies represents a consortium of programs, faculty, and graduate students engaged in the study of performance culture across the disciplines.

The center is an inter-disciplinary consortium of graduate programs at the University of Washington. Our collaborators are involved in scholarship that deals with any aspect of performance culture. It is comprised of a wide range of faculty and graduate students across the campus and across fields who have joined together to support the study of performance in a variety of forms and cultures. The Center is not a degree granting program, but rather a commons for the sharing and pooling of the diverse strengths and resources of the University of Washington community.

This website is designed to be a resource for the campus-wide study of performance. Here you will be able to access information about the faculty that comprise the Center, graduate courses that are focused on the study of performance, upcoming lectures, events and conferences, and opportunities for funding.

Center Seminars

Center Seminars are truly inter-disciplinary seminars based on a theme approached by three or four faculty from different departments. One seminar, Translation Across the Disciplines, was taught by faculty from French, Classics, and Computer Science. Each faculty conducts a two and half week micro-seminar with a common text around a common theme, approached from their own discipline.

We used the course catalogue to begin to re-shape traffic flow between departments that would allow students to migrate more easily, moving seminars up or down an hour. We began to encourage more porous borders between the disciplines, less insistence on ownership of the field.

We looked at the things we had in common, what we already shared.   We looked at what courses might be combined to our advantage.    We explored rotational courses, team taught courses.   Seminars began to grow, to take on new shapes, opening themselves to the interests of others as well as the in-house population.    Departments which no longer had faculty enough to cover their own programs might avail themselves of shared seminars to preserve their curricula.  We began to explore how we might share guests, workshops, professionalization, research methods and pedagogy.   Most importantly, students from separate disciplines might learn from each other.