ryanplatt.net: musings on performance and theory

A Preface

“Performance studies is a border discipline, an interdiscipline, that cultivates the capacity to move between structures, to forge connections, to see together, to speak with instead of simply speaking about or for others.”

-Dwight Conquergood, “Of Caravans and Carnivals: Performance Studies in Motion”

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I began this blog as a graduate student. At that time, I was living in Berlin and felt compelled to comment on the incredible wealth of cultural production offered in that city. As a result, this site was more or less a typical arts blog. Only a few years later, I look back on this writing with a combination of affection and chagrin for the way in which it still carries the very presumptions that I had sought to dispel from my thinking at the time. In this respect, the quotation by Dwight Conquergood cited above provides a nice distillation of my current critical aspiration: to practice ways of “being with” others, to listen to instead of speaking for, to attend to registers of difference that fall outside the limits of my experience.

Of course, a lot has changed since being a grad in Berlin, notably including the focus of my research, which has become more focused on refining its position vis-a-vis current theoretical discourses. As a result, this site now features less artistic reportage in favor of increased critical engagement with the texts and concepts that engage my research (but not texts from my classes, kids!) as well as the ephemera that I encounter along the way. The posts from the site’s earlier incarnation are still available, but I have decided to make them less visible and thus less prominent on this site.

Ryan