About

PSi is a professional association founded in 1997 to promote communication and exchange among artists, thinkers, activists and academics working in the field of performance. Over the past decades, performance has developed as an umbrella term for scholarly as well as artistic research engaged with a wide variety of topics. The research conducted under this umbrella term is interdisciplinary and is strongly rooted in the interaction between theory and practice. It is a dynamic field of encounters rather than a discipline grounded in one particular methodology or tradition.

PSi represents this field and stimulates its development by initiating conferences and other events, by means of awards and bursaries, by facilitating the circulation of information and knowledge, through working groups dedicated to important issues in the field of performance research, by means of an archive and oral history project, and with a network and a lexicon aimed towards the further development of performance research and education in a global context.

PSi’s ambition to be international is given in the very name of our organization, while at the same time the small ‘i’ used in the spelling of ‘international’ expresses awareness of the complexity of what it means to be international. Awareness that is, that internationalization is not only a matter of the cultural phenomena that are the subject of study, nor of the world-wide expansion of one particular research paradigm, but rather of diversification. Being international involves an understanding of Performance Studies as a multiplicity of approaches that can be traced back to different practices in different sites of research. As Jon McKenzie, Heike Roms and C.J.W.-L. Wee observe (in Contesting Performance—global sites of research) ‘While performance has for some time been recognized as both a contested concept and a practice of potential contestation, the sites and stakes of those contests have both multiplied and entered into new configurations’.
A crucial question therefore is how to engage with this multiplication of perspectives and multiple sites of contestation, and how to make this situation productive for the further development of the field.