Comparative Modernist Performance Studies: A Not So Modest Proposal
Abstract

A field survey of recent scholarship in comparative studies, modernist studies, and performance studies, this article maps a new field at their intersection. Calling for the alignment of core concerns and the correction of disciplinary blind spots, the authors propose a comparative model for the study of global modernisms that treats culture not as an object of analysis but rather as a performative process of making meaning. This article outlines a method that acknowledges the different experiences and conceptualizations of historical modernity, the processes of modernization, and modernist strategies of representation around the globe. It argues that, by putting those different experiences and conceptualizations into relation with each other, we can produce a synthetic—but necessarily provisional—heuristic for understanding the modern condition. Emphasizing the performative function of scholarship, the article concludes with six guiding principles to bring the field of Comparative Modernist Performance Studies into being.


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