Anthropology and Theatre

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


Theater has been a focus of systematic investigation in anthropology since the 1970s. Because of its cross-cultural nature, theater has been of interdisciplinary interest to scholars employing ethnographic methods to analyze cultural meanings present in texts and embodied in rituals and in the social exchange of symbols between performers and audiences. Following the “affective turn” of the 1990s and under the influence of postcolonial critique, performance scholars and social scientists have begun to look at theater practices as processes of meaning making, political negotiation, and collabo- ration. Acknowledging theater’s immediacy in concentrating on what lies at the core k of what specific societies want to communicate about themselves, anthropologists have also used performances to communicate their fieldwork data in the form of ethnodramas. More recently, social research that has wished to privilege reflexivity and intersubjectivity has engaged with the actual practice of theatre making, to engage participants in active and ethical processes of knowledge production.
Original languageEnglish
TypeInternational Encyclopaedia of Anthropology
Media of outputText
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781118924396
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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