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The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas (John Hope Franklin Center Book)

Customer Reviews:

Read This Important New Book

By Joseph Shahadi - December 15, 2003

In her wonderful new book, Diana Taylor, a distinguished professor of both Spanish and performance studies, brings her areas of expertise into "conversation." Performances, she argues, are vital "acts of transfer" that transmit social knowledge, memory and a sense of identity in Latin/o American (and by extension other) cultures.
She writes, "I am not suggesting that we merely extend our analytic practice to other `Non-Western' areas. Rather, what I propose here is a real engagement between two fields that helps us rethink both." By working from the points of disconnection between area and performance studies Taylor creates a new framework for approaching performance as embodied social practice.

Shifting focus to "the live" requires new methodologies and Taylor creates exciting new theoretical tools to further this discussion. Since, in her view, much performance writing betrays the "embodiedness" it seeks to describe; Taylor coins terms that do not derive from... read more

A Great Book Worth Coming Back To

By T C - July 20, 2009

Even for students and scholars outside of Latin American studies, this is a must read. Diana Taylor wears her unparalleled knowledge of performance culture lightly in this lucid and elegantly argued book. The notions of the archive and repertoire developed in the book (esp. pp. 19-23) have far-reaching implications for performance studies.

A Vital Intervention

By Christopher Van Houten "DaDangDang" - February 15, 2006

Taylor's "The Archive and the Repertoire" is an absolute must-read for all scholars and students in performance studies, cultural studies, Latin American studies, and the social sciences in general.

Drawing on a diverse range of case studies from a Peruvian community theatre troupe to Univision astrologist Walter Mercado to her own firsthand account of witnessing 9/11, Taylor creates a new vocabulary for describing how cultures remember and re-enact with the body.

Although her insights are crucial for the future of performance studies and useful to senior scholars in the field, she writes with a clarity and personality that will engage undergraduate students as well.

VERY highly recommended.

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