This study examines how women of color throughout various artistic and academic communities employ performative practices to articulate how subaltern voices embody and address issues of social justice. The research examines the relationship between performance and academia, exploring how the artists’ messages are shaped in the public and private spheres. There is a discussion on the ability of performance to be more than its general definition of stage and audience, allowing for a performative scholarship to emerge. Through this research, I examine how art is culturally important to the survival of marginalized peoples, particularly for people of color. The importance of the history of art forms such as dance, spoken word, theatre, music, etc. is shown in the ways some groups of color maintain their cultural identity within this color designated society. From that socio-historical support emerges a community of artists, scholars, and activists who are fighting against social injustices. This project also seeks to find ways in which social science fields can increase their use of performative experience to aid the dialogue about social justice. As a tangible example of the ideas discussed throughout this research, I created an immersive spoken word piece to provide an audience with the opportunity to see and feel this rhetoric as it is happening.


Craven, Christa


Sociology and Anthropology


Arts and Humanities | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Theatre and Performance Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Erin M. Posey