Dr J Lowell Lewis

BA Columbia University; BA University of Washington; PhD University of Washington (Seattle)
Retired Senior Lecturer, Anthropology and Performance Studies
Phone: 0011-1-360-733-5745 (USA)

Research areas

  • Performance theory
  • Semiotics
  • Ritual and play theory
  • Movement and sound patterns
  • Brazil, Latin America, Aboriginal Australia

Current projects

  • Synthesis of Performance and Cultural Theory
  • Explorations of Intercorporeality and Implacement

Selected publications - Books

  • The Anthropology of Cultural Performance, Palgrave Mcmillan, 2013.
  • Ring of Liberation: Deceptive Discourse in Brazilian Capoeira, University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Selected publications - Book chapters

  • "Toward a Unified Theory of Cultural Performance: A "Reconstructive Introduction" to the work of Victor Turner" in Victor Turner and Cultural Performance, Berghahn, 2008.
  • "Afterword: Theoretical Reflections" in Contested Ground: Performance and the Politics of Place, Peter Lang, 2006.

Selected publications - Articles

  • "Sex and Violence in Brazil: Carnaval, Capoeira, and the problem of everyday life" in American Ethnologist, 26(3): 539-557, 1999.
  • "Genre and Embodiment: From Brazilian Capoeira to the Ethnology of Human Movement" Cultural Anthropology, 10(2): 221-43, 1995.
  • "The Maleny 'Fire Event': Rehearsal toward Neo-liminality" (With Paul Dowsey-Magog) The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 4(3): 198-219, 1993.

Areas of teaching and research supervision


  • Anthropology of Performance
  • Intercultural Performance
  • Embodiment (Honours Seminar)
  • Sport as Cultural Performance


  • Croatian folk dance in Australia
  • Reyog performances in East Java
  • Folk dance in NE Afghanistan; Bodyweather (Butoh) in Australia
  • Yoga in Australia
  • Suzuki-influenced contemporary performance in Australia
  • Phenomenology of Audience Being.