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Performing Care: New Perspectives on Socially Engaged Performance

Stuart Fisher, Amanda and Thompson, James, eds. (2020) Performing Care: New Perspectives on Socially Engaged Performance. MUP, Manchester. ISBN 9781526146809

Abstract

This edited collection brings together essays presenting an interdisciplinary dialogue between theatre and performance and the fields of care ethics, care studies, health and social care. The book advances our understanding of performance as a mode of care, challenging existing debates in this area by re-thinking the caring encounter as a performed, embodied experience and interrogating the boundaries between care practice and performance. Through an examination of a wide range of different care performances drawn from interdisciplinary and international settings, the book interrogates how performance might be understood as caring or uncaring, careless or careful, and correlatively how care can be conceptualised as artful, aesthetic, authentic or even ‘fake’ and ‘staged’. Drawing on interdisciplinary debates and discussion, the book considers how the field of performance and the aesthetic and ethico-political structures that determine its relationship with the social might be challenged by an examination of inter-human care. By placing socially-engaged performance in dialogue with theories and practices of care, the contributors consider how performance operates as a mode of caring for others and how debates between the theory and practice of care and performance making might foster a greater understanding of how the caring encounter is embodied and experienced.

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