Hall, John

John Hall - Essays on Performance Writing etc Vol 1


John Hall - Essays on Performance Writing etc Vol 1

Published 2013. Paperback, 252pp, 9x6ins
ISBN 978-1-84861-317-1 [Download a PDF sampler from this book here.]

In 1993, say, the term Performance Writing, if used at all, suggested simply writing for performance. By 2011, when the author of this collection became the first Professor of Performance Writing, it had attained a much wider—indeed international—currency in discussions of contemporary writing, and had entered the curriculum of a range of courses well beyond its intense first conceptual and pedagogic development at the adventurous Dartington College of Arts. The task—and indeed the task of many of these essays—had been to fill out the terms for an approach to writing that looked beyond and beside literature for its sources, references and material practices. These other frames included — the rapid changes taking place within the technologies for producing, circulating and receiving text; a 'turn to writing' within other cultural practices, especially perhaps its integral presence within visual and sonic culture; the increasing textuality of the shared environment (words in public places, for example); and finally, philosophical preoccupations with the idea of performativity and its entailment with language. This collection brings together essays that sketch, in differing modes and for different constituencies, this newly conceived field. Some set it out in broad terms; others take on specific aspects through attention to instances, such as the performativity of writing and reading in domestic space, in road signs or in elegy; the relation of prosody to (theatrical) performance or visual space; the changing status of the page. The otherwise out-of-print 'Thirteen Ways of Talking about Performance Writing' launches the collection, which ends with four essays that are mostly pedagogic in emphasis, considering very practical questions about the purpose and most useful shape for arts teaching in higher education, with particular emphasis on different ways of knowing and on interdisciplinarity.


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