ISPS: Institute for the Study of Performance and Spirituality

Mission Statement

The mission of the Institute for the Study of Performance and Spirituality (ISPS) is to foster deeper research in the use of performance and media by alternative spiritual movements.

To achieve this, ISPS will do the following:

  • Maintain an online resource center holding video images, digital images, printed matter, and a list of links to related archives, special collections, and organizations related to the ISPS mission
  • Maintain a physical resource center containing documents, artifacts, images, scholarly research related to the ISPS mission
  • Produce digital video documentary footage of performances and events
  • Maintain a physical archive
  • Publish a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal (Performance and Spiritual Movements) containing scholarly articles and interviews with performers
  • Organize events involving performances, discussion panels, and research presentations
  • Employ communication and online technology to establish connections with scholars, performers, and related organizations worldwide

Alternative Spiritual Movements

For the purposes of ISPS, "alternative spiritual movement" refers to individuals and groups with spiritual practices and beliefs that are perceived by the majority of the general population of the culture in which they were founded as an alternative to "traditional" or "conventional" religious/spiritual practices and beliefs of that culture.


"Performance" refers to live performance forms-such as theatre, acting, singing, dancing, ritual etc.


"Media" refers to non-live means of communication such as such as photography, recorded music, film/video, digital imagery, radio, etc.

Supporting ISPS

ISPS is seeking contributions and support, including, but not limited to:

  • Funding for resource centers, ongoing research, events, and operational expenses
  • Volunteer help for the online journal, fieldwork, and operational activities
  • Donations of equipment and space
  • Advisers

To make a donation of resources or services, please contact Edmund Lingan, founder of ISPS, at

Other Supporting Organizations

Other organizations who have given their support to ISPS include:

  • The New Media Lab of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (website development).
  • Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
  • The Free Information Project (Open Journal System) of the University of British Columbia

Affiliation with MESTC

ISPS is affiliated with the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, located at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.