Ex Libris

Shoot-from-the-hip book reviews with an emphasis on historiography.

Someday, all of theater history will be online. Until then, you’re gonna need some books. Here are some titles that we’re reading. In a few cases, we’ve linked to some already published reviews to give you a sense of what readers are saying (you may need institutional access to get to some of these reviews). But what we’re really interested in is your two cents (firewall-free): What are you using in your classes? What’s your go-to book for theory and methodology? If you’d like to share your quick take on these or other titles in the field, please submit your review.

Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights. NYU Press, 2011

  • Flynn, Richard. “Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights.” The Lion and the Unicorn, 36.2, April 2012. available online [may require subscriber login].
  • Bak, Meredith A.. “Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights. Robin Bernstein. New York: New York University Press, 2011. 318 pp. $22.80 paperback.” Journal of Popular Culture*, v. 45 issue 4, 2012, p. 913.
  • Melancon, T.C. “Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights.” Choice 6/2012 Vol. 49, issue 10 p.1854.

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Richard Schechner, Performance Studies: An Introduction. Second Edition. Routledge, 2006.

  • Dolan, Jill. “Performance Studies: An Introduction (Book).” Modern Drama 46.2 (2003): 305-308. Available online [may require subscriber login]

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Rebecca Schneider. Performing Remains: Art and War in Times of Theatrical Reenactment. Routledge, 2011.

  • T. Nikki Cesare. “Performing Remains: Art and War in Times of Theatrical Reenactment (review).” Modern Drama, Volume 55, Number 2 (Summer 2012), pp. 283-285. Available online. [may require subscriber login.]
  • Sara Brady. “Performing Remains: Art and War in Times of Theatrical Reenactment (review).” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Volume 26, Number 2 (Spring 2012), pp. 223-225. Available online. [may require subscriber login.]

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Thomas Postlewait and Bruce A. McConachie, eds. Interpreting the Theatrical Past. University of Iowa Press, 1989.

  • Rosemarie Bank. “Interpreting the Theatrical Past: Essays in the Historiography of Performance by Thomas Postlewait, Bruce A. McConachie.” Theatre Journal, Volume 42, Number 2 (May 1990), pp. 272-274. Available online. [may require subscriber login.]

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Bernard F. Dukore. Dramatic Theory and Criticism: Greeks to Grotowski.Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1974.

  • Laurence Senelick and Edward Pixley. “Dramatic Theory and Criticism: Greeks to Grotowski by Bernard F. Dukore.” Educational Theatre Journal, Volume 28, Number 2 (May 1976), pp. 271-275. Available online. [may require subscriber login]

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Henry Bial. The Performance Studies Reader. 2nd ed. Routledge, 2007.

  • Adam D. Frank. “The Performance Studies Reader (review).” Journal of American Folklore, Volume 124, Number 493 (Summer 2011), pp. 225-227. Available online. [may require subscriber login.]
  • Jonathan Hicks. “Linda Ben-Zvi and Tracy C. Davis, eds. Considering Calamity: Methods for Performance Research. The Yolanda and David Katz Faculty of the Arts, Tel Aviv University: Asaph Books, 2007; Henry Bial, ed. The Performance Studies Reader. 2nd edn. London and New York: Routledge, 2007; Tracy C. Davis, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Performance Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008,” Cambridge Opera Journal, Volume 21, Issue 1 (March 2009), pp. 89-99. Available online. [may require subscriber login.]

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Marvin Carlson. Theories of the Theatre: A Historical and Critical Survey, from the Greeks to the Present. Cornell University Press, 1993.

  • Thomas Postlewait. “Theories of the Theatre, A Historical And Critical Survey, From The Greeks To The Present. By Marvin Carlson. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1984. Pp. 529. $45.00; $14.95,” Theatre Research International, Volume 12, Issue 03 (September 1987), pp. 261-263. Available online. [may require subscriber login.]
  • Ronald W. Vince. “Marvin Carlson, Theories of the Theatre: A Historical and Critical Survey, from the Greeks to the Present. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1984. 528 pp. $49.50 cloth, $14.95 paper.” Theatre Survey, Volume 27, Issue 1-2 (November 1986), pp. 167-168. Available online. [may require subscriber login.]

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Janelle Reinelt and Joseph Roach. Critical Theory and Performance. Revised and Enlarged Edition. University of Michigan Press, 2007.

  • James M. Harding. “Critical Theory and Performance. Edited by Janelle Reinelt & Joseph Roach. University of Michigan Press, 1992. Pp. 455. $49.50; 18.50.” Theatre Research International, Volume 21, Issue 01 (March 1996), pp. 89-90. Available online. [may require subscriber login.]
  • Mick Wallis, Janelle G. Reinelt and Joseph R. Roach, eds. Critical Theory and Performance Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992. 456 p. £18.95 (pbk). ISBN 0-472-06458-4, New Theatre Quarterly, Volume 10, Issue 38 (May 1994), pp. 202 – 203. Available online. [may require subscriber login.]

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Mark Fortier. Theory/Theatre: An Introduction. Routledge, 1997.

  • Brian Singleton. “Theatre/Theory: An Introduction. By Mark Fortier. London & New York: Routledge, 1997. Pp. vii + 195. £35 Hb; £10.99 Pb.” Theatre Research International, Volume 23, Issue 2 (June 1998), pp. 191-192. Available online. [may require subscriber login.]
  • Christopher McCullough. “Theory/Theatre: An Introduction,” The Modern Language Review, Volume 96, Number 2 (April 2001), pp. 602-603. Available online. [may require subscriber login.]

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Leigh Clemons, Branding Texas: Performing Culture in the Lone Star State. University of Texas Press, 2008.

  • Rollo Newsom. “Branding Texas: Performing Culture in the Lone Star State (review).” Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 113, Number 1 (July 2009), pp. 121-122. Available online. [may require subscriber login.]
  • Matthew McMahan. “Branding Texas: Performing Culture in the Lone Star State (review).” Theatre Journal, Volume 63, Number 4 (December 2011), pp. 668-669. Available online. [may require subscriber login.]

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