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Performing the Moment, Performing the Movement

Dr. Marc Arthur | How to Make Performance during a Pandemic: Confronting HIV/AIDS in the work of Karen Finley and Demian DinéYazhi´
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
6:30-7:30 PM
Off Campus Location
Free & Open to the public

How does one make performance during a pandemic? In this talk Dr. Arthur looks at the unique ways that artists have addressed HIV/AIDS to answer this question. Considering theatrical interventions by Karen Finley and Demian DinéYazhi´, Dr. Arthur argues that performance created in response to HIV/AIDS can teach us to challenge dominant narratives about a virus and strategies for living through an ongoing pandemic.

Marc Arthur is an artist and scholar who holds a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University (2019). He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in Arts-based Social Justice Research and Practice at the University of Michigan where he is studying the role of directing, devised theatre, dramatic writing, and acting in achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion. His research and teaching interests encompass contemporary performance and theatre practice, dramatic literature and history, performance studies, queer theory, and critical ethnic studies. He is currently working on his first book project entitled, An Imagined Virus: Theatre, Memory, and the Politics of AIDS, which argues that artists use performance to restage the AIDS crisis by enacting dramaturgies of transformation and new forms of biomedical embodiment.

His academic writing and criticism has appeared in edited volumes and journals including Bomb Magazine, Yale’s Theater, the book Viral Dramaturgies: HIV and AIDS in Performance in the Twenty-First Century, as well as numerous art catalogues. He has also written extensively for Performa Magazine, where he is a Contributing Editor. From 2011 – 2017 he was the Head of Research and Archives at Performa where he organized touring exhibitions, curated programs, led interdisciplinary research projects with a wide range of artists, and spearheaded the acquisition of the Performa collection by NYU’s Fales Library.

As an artist and director, he has developed a new form of performance that incorporates methods from devised theatre, dance, painting, and socially engaged art. His work has been presented at theatres and galleries internationally, including the Martha Graham Dance Theater, La MaMa E.T.C., Dixon Place, The Living Theater, Movement Research at Judson Church, the Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance, the Wild Project, University Settlement, and Chashama in New York City; New Langton Arts and David Cunningham Projects, San Francisco; Moyse Theatre at McGill University, Montreal; Xavier Hufkens Gallery, Brussels; the Emily Harvey Foundation, Venice; Universität der Künste, Berlin; and FRISE, Hamburg.

In this new virtual series, Center for World Performance Studies invites performers and scholars from diverse disciplines to reflect on how performance is being used to respond to the political, social, health and environmental crises that we face at this moment. Each guest will give a 30 minute presentation, and then engage in 30 minutes of Q&A. Sessions will take place over Zoom and require advance registration. You can read about the panelists, register for these events, find recommended reading and resources and/or request recordings of past events at

If you require an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact the Center for World Performance Studies, at 734-936-2777. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the University to arrange.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Type: Livestream / Virtual
Tags: Activism, Interdisciplinary, Social Impact, Social Justice, Sociology, Storytelling, Theater
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for World Performance Studies, Residential College