Performance and American Cultures

Performance and American Cultures will publish books that use performance to think historically. This book series harnesses American studies and performance studies and directs them toward each other. Performance studies offers American studies a visitation of liveness, embodiment, and multiplicity; sensitivity to the vicissitudes of events, acts of spectatorship, and memory; and unexpected fields of evidence in not only paper and celluloid but also in material culture, lines of activity, gesture, and affect. Thinking through performance is particularly useful in the historical study of race, gender, and sexuality, because marginalized people often leave traces in performance more legibly than they do in written texts; this series will maximize upon that potential. Books in this series will forge supple, widely applicable analytical tools and methodological models that will enable performance studies to suffuse and alter American studies. Reciprocally, American studies can re-orient the too-often presentist performance scholarship to the study of the past. The series sustains traditions in American Studies and Performance Studies that amplify performance practices of resistance, transgression and subversion that reshape our relationship to power and knowledge. At the same time, the series also aims to identify the uses of performance in reactionary, regressive, traditionalist or related causes. Topics may include music, fashion, theatre, sports, digital culture, film, religious and secular ritual, television, or the presentation of the self in everyday life. Ultimately, the editors hope that this series will become a destination for field-guiding works, reflecting the breadth of topics and periods that comprises American cultural history.


Stephanie Batiste, University of California, Santa Barbara
Robin Bernstein, Harvard University
Brian Herrera, Princeton University


Submissions should take the form of a 3-5 page proposal outlining the intent and scope of the project, its merits in comparison to existing texts, and the audience it is designed to reach. You should also include a detailed Table of Contents, 2-3 sample chapters, and a current copy of your curriculum vitae. Please refer to NYU Press’s submission guidelines.

Please direct queries and submissions simultaneously to the General Editors at and Eric Zinner, Editor-in-Chief at NYU Press.

Published1 titles in this series