Performance studies is an academic discipline that examines relationships between performance and culture. Scholars in the field not only study traditional art forms (such as music, theatre, dance), they also explore a broad range of cultural expressions, including rituals, festivals, religious ceremonies, games, parades, storytelling, clothing, folklore, indigenous arts, and the mass media. Texas A&M’s new M.A. program emphasizes the ethnographic study of vernacular culture. The department has strengths in Africana studies, dance and ritual studies, ethnomusicology, folklore, performance ethnography, popular music studies, religious studies, theatre and media studies, and women’s studies. Assistantships are available.
A wide range of career options are open to those trained in performance studies. These include:
- positions in museums, folk arts agencies, and public history programs
- work as cultural advisors for media outlets (including commercial and noncommercial television, film, music production, and culturally oriented magazines and Web sites) and for organizations specializing in international tourism
- employment in NGOs that specialize in cultural preservation
Further, those with M.A. degrees in performance studies may pursue a doctoral degree in the field of performance studies, as well as folklore, theatre, music, dance, communication, and cultural studies.
We are currently processing applications for the Fall 2012 semester. Applications will be accepted and evaluated until all graduate assistantships have been filled. Information on the application process can be found here.