Transnational Theory and Method in Performance Studies


Transnational Theory and Method in Performance Studies

Chairs: Alejandro L. Madrid (University of Illinois at Chicago) and 
Micol Seigel (California State University, Los Angeles)


Contemporary discussions of “globalization” often suggest that the rapid flow of people, goods, information, and capital across borders is a new (post-World War II) phenomenon. The supposed increase in travel over borders of various sorts, such discussions claim, has undermined the nation-state as a site for collective identification and the granting and protection of citizenship rights. While the coordinators of this working group doubt the newness of transnational flows, they are interested in such travel and in the relevance of non-national imagined communities in the history of the Americas. These are compelling social formations and deserve attention whether they are new or old and despite the continued salience, alas, of the nation-state. This working group therefore brings a historical perspective to the study of transnational performance practices in the Americas. It will highlight and explore the importance of transnational units at various points in the history of the Americas, rejecting their characterization as unique to the postwar period, and offer methodological prescriptions for applying transnational frames of reference in Performance Studies.


Alejandro L. Madrid is a Musicologist and Cultural Theorist. He received the Casa de las Américas Musicology Prize in 2005 and is currently Assistant Profesor of Latin American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.    

Micol Seigel is Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies at the California State University, Los Angeles, United States. She is currently also a fellow in the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University.