What is PSi? What does PSi do?

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.


All the members of the PSi Board you can meet on the Board page.

Working Groups

PSi Working Groups bring together individual researchers and artists to exchange ideas about shared topics of interest. Working groups meet during the annual conferences, and may organize additional meetings and events throughout the year.

Working Groups

PSi Manifesto Lexicon

Being international is not a given but a question, and this question touches upon the very discourse we use, and the ownership of concepts through which we engage with the objects we study. The Manifesto Lexicon addresses this aspect of PSi’s ambition to be international.

PSi Manifesto Lexicon

Future Advisory Board

The Future Advisory Board (FAB) is a new PSi initiative that aims to bring together graduate students and early career scholars and artists worldwide, and increase visibility of the diversity of Performance Studies.

Future Advisory Board

Global Performance Studies GPS

Peer reviewed, online, interdisciplinary academic journal. GPS provides methods of accessing, publishing, and archiving digital content that go beyond traditional, text-centric models of research, using cross-platform and supplemental media.



A PSi Regional Research Cluster is a smaller and less formal performance studies event arising in response to a need to bring people together without having to travel vast distances or provide for the needs of a larger conference.

Regional Clusters


Several awards and a bursary are available to support emerging scholars, activists, artists and conference participants from underrepresented regions. Awards recognize the range of investments in PSi and support diverse participation. For more information about these awards, including deadlines, procedures and eligibility, please refer to their respective webpages.