Performance and Disability Database

Danielle Peers and Lindsay Eales on stage

Performance and disability, dealing with common subjects (body, politics, identity) and through similar methods, have hence been in close conversation since their concurrent emergence in the second half of the twentieth century. While this brief history has been the subject of recent publications (see Henderson and Ostrander 2007; Kuppers 2001; Kuppers 2003; Sandahl and Auslander 2005), the geographies of such anthologies have largely been limited to United States and Europe. The proposed case study aims to address this lacuna and investigate the intersections of performance and disability in the Americas.

The project involves the creation of an online database about the history and current trends of the interactions between performance and disability in the Americas. The database will constitute the first of its kind, providing a thorough and rigorous review of the topic and serving as a source for future research and artistic practices.   

The time period that the inquiry will cover is from 1980 to present on the grounds that both performance and disability have emerged as distinct research paradigms within the stated time-frame. Conceptually, the project will follow three main trajectories: a. aesthetic performances and disability (performance reviews, documentations, archival research), b. performative interventions and disability activism (archival research, interviews), c. academic research on disability in relation to performance (literature survey, interviews).