AMS Workshop: Laurie Beth Clark and Michael Peterson

Mon, Sep 23, 2019, 12:00 pm
RSVP Required:
Program in American Studies

Photo of Laurie Beth Clark and Michael Peterson

Laurie Beth Clark and Michael Peterson. Photo courtesy of Laurie Beth Clark and Michael Peterson

What is generosity? How is it performed? These are the questions that the artistic collaborative Spatula&Barcode are grappling with in 2020. While it seems clear to us how to make work that is generous, we’re investigating how creative projects and events might interrogate this theme. Following a brief discussion of the preparatory readings drawn from our co-edited journal volume On Generosity, we’ll ask participants to help us imagine performances of generosity using the foods served for lunch as props to is an improvisatory gestures.

Laurie Beth Clark and Michael Peterson are professors in the art department at the University of Wisconsin. Peterson is also the director of the Program in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies. Together, they make up the artistic collaborative Spatula&Barcode. Their work explores the social impacts of conviviality, commensality, and criticality using food and gifting as strategies for devising performances. Spatula&Barcode projects have been realized in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Extensive documentation of their creative work can be found at

Both Clark and Peterson also have substantive independent and collaborative scholarship. Most recently they wrote the entry on “Making” for the forthcoming Blackwell Companion to Visual Culture. Clark’s groundbreaking scholarship on trauma tourism is published in journals and anthologies. Peterson is the author of Straight White Male Performance Art Monologues (Mississippi UP, 1997). He has written extensively about Las Vegas Culture and is currently researching torture, performance and cruelty in everyday life.