We are excited to announce the launch of two new born-digital book projects published in in collaboration with the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University. Editorial Director Ken Wissoker says, “I’m excited to be partnering with Diana Taylor and the Hemispheric Institute in publishing these compelling Scalar projects. Scalar is a pioneering platform for opening out new ways of presenting academic work. In the the hands of the innovative scholars at the Hemispheric Institute these projects bring cutting-edge thinking to a wider public in a manner that books alone could never achieve.
Dancing with the Zapatistas, edited by Diana Taylor and Lorie Novak, brings together scholars, artists, journalists, and activists to respond to the continuing work of the Zapatistas twenty years after their insurrection in 1994. Available free online, this open access multimedia digital book includes essays, photo essays, interviews, and spoken word and theatrical performances that offer insights into the workings of the Zapatista Council on Good Government; the murals in the Caracoles; the Escuelita; Subcomandante Marcos; and Zapatista music and celebrations. An exceptionally rich visual resource, this book discusses how Zapatista and Mayan thought permeate the daily life of the Zapatistas, from the way in which their languages configure collective identity to how music affirms the Zapatistas’ conception of history. Ultimately, Dancing with the Zapatistas considers how the Zapatistas work with those outside their movement while covering how they have influenced the practices of activists and artists around the globe.
What is Performance Studies? is edited by Diana Taylor and Marcos Steuernagel. This multimedia digital book, available free online, asks thirty leading scholars from seven different countries throughout the Americas the same question: What is performance studies? The project features video interviews accompanied by short essays. The interviews are transcribed, translated, and subtitled into English, Spanish, and Portuguese, offering a truly trilingual perspective on performance studies that engages with it from a variety of national, linguistic, and disciplinary locations. Diana Taylor and Marcos Steuernagel’s written introduction provides a history and overview of the project, while four brief essays by Steuernagel, Taylor, Marcela A. Fuentes, and Tavia Nyong’o offer critical entry points to the interviews from different yet complementary perspectives. What Is Performance Studies? expands the genealogy of the field while opening new paths for thinking through, in, and with performance studies in the Americas.
We hope these innovative projects will be useful to students, teachers, and researchers and that they’ll spur further innovation in the humanities.