"This volume participates in the discursive shift in the humanities and arts from the textual to the performative" (McCutcheon & Sellers-Young, 2013, p.1)

The discursive shift mentioned above instantly piqued my curiosity as something that would speak to current conversations in rhetoric. I have focused my review on how this collection may apply to the field of rhetoric and be of use to rhetorical scholars. This review is thus, to a degree, limited in scope.

To explore the shift from the textual to performative, I have composed a review that features both text and performance. On each of the other pages in this webtext, you will find both a video and a scrolling textbox, both featuring the same words. I invite you to read some pages and watch some others, paying attention to how engaging with the textual experience is different from the performative experience. Do you remember more about the pages you watched or the pages you read? Which did you enjoy more? (I invite you to submit comments about your experience at the Facebook group Shifting to the Performative.)

In order to give the videos an element of performance beyond the physical representation of me speaking, I have associated each of the videos with a different style of stage makeup that develops throughout the video. The videos thus represent the transformation of the self into a character—a key component of performance. I'd like to note that the process of creating these videos felt both more enjoyable and more vulnerable for me than the process of writing was.


McCutcheon, Jane Rosina, & Sellers-Young, Barbara (Eds.). (2013). Embodied consciousness: Performance technologies. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Image Reference

Backgrounds Etc. (2010). Scrapbook sunburst background in safety orange [Graphic design]. Retrieved March 24, 2015, from http://backgrounds.mysitemyway.com/free-scrapbook-sunburst-stock-background-images/