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Worldmaking: Race, Performance, and the Work of Creativity – A Book Talk by Dorinne Kondo

October 17, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

About Worldmaking: Race, Performance, and the Work of Creativity: In this bold, innovative work, Dorinne Kondo theorizes the racialized structures of inequality that pervade theater and the arts. Grounded in twenty years of fieldwork as dramaturg and playwright, Kondo mobilizes critical race studies, affect theory, psychoanalysis, and dramatic writing to trenchantly analyze theater’s work of creativity as theory: acting, writing, dramaturgy. Race-making occurs backstage in the creative process and through economic forces, institutional hierarchies, hiring practices, ideologies of artistic transcendence, and aesthetic form. For audiences, the arts produce racial affect–structurally over-determined ways affect can enhance or diminish life.

Upending genre through scholarly interpretation, vivid vignettes, and Kondo’s original play, Worldmaking journeys from an initial romance with theater that is shattered by encounters with racism, toward what Kondo calls reparative creativity in the work of minoritarian artists Anna Deavere Smith, David Henry Hwang, and the author herself. Worldmaking performs the potential for the arts to remake worlds, from theater worlds to psychic worlds to worldmaking visions for social transformation (Duke University Press).

This event is organized by PS Faculty, Professor Fred Moten.


NYU Tisch Department of Performance Studies
NYU Department of Anthropology


Performance Studies Studio 612
721 Broadway
New York, NY 10003 United States
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