Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Frederick Steier

Committee Member

Stacy Holman Jones, Ph.D

Committee Member

Jane Jorgenson, Ph.D

Committee Member

Marilyn Myerson, Ph.D


Performativity, Performance Theory, Cybernetics, Cyborg, Systems Theory, The Esalen Institute


This dissertation is a case study of the public performances of Gregory Bateson at The Esalen Institute. The case study is a reconsideration of the work of Gregory Bateson from the perspective of performance studies. The author brings together performativity, cybernetics, and the sacred to argue that Gregory Bateson, in his public performances, was striving for grace in encounters with others. The author has conducted archival research into Bateson’s presentations and has spoken with several close to Bateson to get a sense of how his process of public presentation paralleled his ideas—a process of continually working through ideas in conversation with others. In his dissertation the author tries to present the work in a form fitting with Bateson's own process.