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MP4: Practice-Based Performance Studies


This Working Group aims to support exchange and collaboration between scholars and artists in the CNY corridor region who are interested in the ways that performance practice enhances and may be enhanced by scholarly methodologies.

Open to New People

Active since: 2019

  • Syracuse University
  • University of Rochester
  • Colgate University

Collaborative Goals

Our working group brings together practitioners and scholars to collaboratively investigate practice-based research methodologies. We accomplish these collaborative goals in the following ways:

Bringing in scholar/practitioners to lead workshops and seminars;

Sharing and creating research outputs on writing retreats; and

Facilitating practice-based research projects within the group.

Group Organizers

Anna Rosensweig

Associate Professor of French and Visual and Cultural Studies, University of Rochester

Missy Pfohl Smith

Director, Program of Dance and Movement, University of Rochester

Osvaldo Sandoval Leon

Assistant Professor, Romance Languages, Colgate University

Stephanie Shirilan

Associate Professor, English, Syracuse University


Leïla Ka Residency: Performance

Sept. 15, 2023, 6 p.m.

Leïla Ka Residency: Artist Talk

Sept. 15, 2023, noon

Leïla Ka Residency: Performance

Sept. 14, 2023, 7 p.m.

Group Outcomes

Event 1: Fall retreat, organized by Osvaldo Sandoval- Leon

Description: Six members of our Working Group attended the Fall 2022 writing retreat at Colgate University. This was an opportunity to help start/resume research and writing projects that were delayed by the pandemic. At the beginning of the retreat, we shared what we were going to be working on over the course of the retreat. We continuously reported on our writing progress and received feedback from all participants. At the end of the retreat, we summarized our progress and shared our future steps and possible collaborations. The outcome of this retreat was very fruitful and rewarding in terms of getting to know more about our colleagues' research and being able to make meaningful connections with our own research.

Individual outcomes from the retreat included the preparation of manuscripts for publication, conference presentations and preparations, course conceptualizations and networking research. Publications developed at this event include:

  • Amanda Winkler, chapter on sonic violence in "The Duchess of Malfi" that will be published in a Routledge Collection titled "Echoes of Violence."
  • Osvaldo Sandoval-Leon, "Cineturgia: la escena cóncava y desfigurada en Luces de bohemia de Ramón del Valle-Inclán," accepted for a volume on Film and Theater.
  • Stephanie Shirilan, "Shakespeare's Airchives," submitted for a special issue of Shakespeare Bulletin on archives and memory.


  • Lin Guo (Syracuse University)
  • Gail A Bulman (Syracuse University)
  • Mona Eikel-Pohen (Syracuse University)
  • Amanda L Eubanks Winkler (Syracuse University)
  • Stephanie Shirilan (Syracuse University)
  • Osvaldo Sandoval-Leon (Colgate University)

Start/End Date/Time: Dec. 14, 2022, 3 p.m. - Dec. 16, 2022, 11:00am

Event 2 Spring Retreat, organized by Stephanie Shirilan

A change of employment for one of our members reduced our group to 5 for this activity. We spent 2 days at an airbnb in Aurora, writing/researching independently for blocks of time interspersed with discussions over tea and meals, which we brought in/made together. The concentration made possible by the isolation and distance from campus and domestic obligations made for tremendous productivity both in our individual projects and in group discussion, wherein we probed areas of both anticipated and unexpected intersection and inter animation of intellectual, critical, and creative inquiries. The intimacy of the group allowed for in-depth discussions of our individual projects and of challenges and opportunities they presented. As expected, out common orientation towards practice-based performance research provided the impetus for conversation about ways to foster this kind of work, enhance its visibility and convey its value. Somewhat less expected was a focus on AI, virtual reality, and other technological developments that present new challenges and opportunities for us to study performance through practice. This provided us with new insights, new ideas and tools to experiment with, and some burgeoning plans for future programming. As with the fall retreat, the timing allowed us to prioritize research projects that had been deferred in order to attend to other obligations (teaching, caregiving) and to set ourselves up for productivity over the break ahead.

Individual outcomes, (while still being determined) include progress on book proposals, chapter development, translation work for performance. Will furnish titles and projects when these details are available.


  • Denis Samburskiy, LLL
  • Ana Mendez-Oliver, LLL, Syracuse
  • Cona Marshall, Religion, Rochester
  • Anar Desai-Stephens, Ethnomusicology, Rochester