Performing Pedagogy

Toward an Art of Politics

By Charles R. Garoian

Subjects: Education, Cultural Studies, Art
Series: SUNY series, INTERRUPTIONS: Border Testimony(ies) and Critical Discourse/s, SUNY series, Innovations in Curriculum
Paperback : 9780791443248, 248 pages, September 1999
Hardcover : 9780791443231, 248 pages, September 1999

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Table of contents



1. Introduction

2. Performance Art: Repositioning the Body in Postmodern Art Education

3. The Emancipatory Pedagogy of Performance Art

4. Goat Island: Spectacle as Performance Art Pedagogy

5. Robbie McCauley's Talk-About Pedagogy

6. Understanding Performance Art as Curriculum Text: The Community-based Pedagogy of Suzanne Lacy

7. Constructing Identity: An Autobiographical Case Study of Performance Art

8. Constructing a Performance Art Pedagogy



Examines performance art and the powerful implications it holds for teaching in the schools.


Performing Pedagogy examines the theory and practice of performance art as an art of politics. It discusses the different ways in which performance artists use memory and cultural history to critique dominant cultural assumptions, to construct identity, and to attain political agency. In doing so, Garoian argues, performance artists like Rachel Rosenthal, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Robbie McCauley, Suzanne Lacy, and the performance art collective Goat Island engage in the practice of critical citizenship and radical forms of democracy that have significant implications for teaching in the schools. Finally, Garoian contextualizes performance art pedagogy within his own cultural work to illustrate how his own memory and cultural history have informed his production of performance art works and his classroom teaching practices.

Charles R. Garoian is Professor of Art Education and Director of the School of Visual Arts at The Pennsylvania State University.


"Garoian is an innovative artist, teacher, and scholar. He challenges the reader to examine the complexity of culture and identity formation through an art of politics. The emphasis on personal context, civic responsibility, and participatory democracy is grounded in his own past art performances that parallel reform efforts in the past five years in general education. Well written and thoroughly researched, this is an insightful investigation into the practice of teaching toward life-long learning. " — Don H. Krug, The Ohio State University

"Garoian brings together the practices and ideas of some of the most significant performance artists, especially as they illuminate the theory of performance and the potential for performance to enrich and transform the educational process. " — Glenn Harper, editor of Interventions and Provocations: Conversations on Art, Culture, and Resistance