Performance studies have been increasingly influential on recent developments in musicology, theater, art, and dance history, as these fields shift from primarily text-based disciplines to consider performativity, subjective experience, and particularized practice. At the same time, the editors argue, investigations into the pre- and early-modern periods have been rare in performance studies. Acting on the Past assembles some of the foremost scholars to theorize particular historical performances -- in dance, opera, theater, and music. Exploring relationships between archive and act, text and sounding, subject and practice, this collection expands and redefines our understanding of both past and performance. CONTRIBUTORS: Annette Richards, Karen Bassi, Joseph Roach, Shelby Rchardson, Catherine M. Soussloff, Mary Carruthers, John Butt, Carolyn Dean, Susan McClary, James Miller.