The word "weaknesses" might be a little misleading. While I do want to discuss some aspects of the text that were perhaps not as strong as the others, I’d also like to note that I think the authors and editors did very important work in this collection, and that the tasks they set out to accomplish here were large, difficult ones. Overall, I think this collection is hugely successful, but for the sake of being thorough, I discuss here some of the slightly less effective aspects.
While I think the interdisciplinary nature of the collection was overall both effective and powerful, it is difficult to bring in different disciplines without bringing in different discipline-specific sets of terms—and there are only so many people who are familiar with both the language of performance theory and the language of neuroscience. This may limit the audience for this book. However, considering the difficult task of bringing performance studies and neuroscience together, I think the authors of this work did an impressive job—I was surprised by how many of the discussions I was actually able to follow.
While this collection definitely reveals that performance studies can overlap with many other fields and conversations in the humanities and liberal arts, not many of the chapters seemed to discuss or implicate a paradigm shift in the humanities and liberal arts explicitly. And while many of the contributors have specialties and degrees in other disciplines, most of them appear to be primarily performance scholars. Thus, what seems to be demonstrated more strongly is a shift in performance studies towards participating more in interdisciplinary conversations. While I would like to think that the liberal arts and humanities are experiencing a shift towards the performative—digital humanities and feminist studies both emphasize issues of embodiment, materiality, and multimodality, all features of performance—I think this collection could have done more to demonstrate that shift, if it was indeed one of its goals.
However, I think this collection does important work in beginning some conversations between performance studies and the humanities and liberal arts. It demonstrated that we have enough overlap to have productive conversations, as well as that performance is a unique and useful site for studying more than just performance. So while it may not explicitly argue for a paradigm shift, I think this work could very well help to facilitate such a shift.