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About Us

The Center for World Performance Studies (CWPS) was established in 2000 to serve the needs of faculty and a student body with an interest in the discipline of Performance Studies, expressly through a global lens. Since that time, CWPS has worked to offer a multidisciplinary space for artists, performers, scholars, and the community for intellectual interactions and public performances. As part of the University of Michigan’s Residential College, CWPS is situated at an exciting intersection of scholarly, creative, community and critical practices.

World Performance Studies defies easy categorization; performance studies is in its very nature a challenge to and questioning of traditional disciplinary boundaries. It is a unique field that examines features shared by a diverse range of performance practices, both on and off stage, that have until recently, mostly been studied separately. These include traditional performing arts forms such as music, theatre and drama; performance art and multimedia; ritual, religious and political acts; and performance in everyday life and work.

CWPS collaborates within and across LSA, Rackham, and the professional schools and colleges throughout the larger University to foster a community of performance scholars. The Graduate Certificate in World Performance Studies assists students in strengthening their analytic skills and in developing an awareness of the theoretical and aesthetic issues that have fueled debates in the field. CWPS also hosts visiting Artist & Scholar Residencies, resulting in numerous scholarly and performance events, and symposia and faculty lectures that bring together students and faculty from a diverse constellation of disciplines.