What is performance? Is it an event and action? Is it what happens on a stage? How might we think of theater and performance as both a critical lens for viewing social and cultural life, and as a creative practice of worldmaking? This course is designed to introduce students to the theoretical, critical, and creative practice of performance studies. Pulling from anthropology, theater, dance, queer studies, critical race theory, and linguistics, we will look at performance ranging from "Paris Is Burning" (directed by Jennie Livingston), to "Slave Play" (written by Jeremy O. Harris), to the work of artists Ana Mendieta, Marina Abramovic, Paula Vogel, Faye Driscoll, Will Rawls, Coco Fusco, Ralph Lemon, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tony Kushner, and many others. In this course we will pay particular attention to queer and minoritarian artists and makers.