Justus-Liebig-Universität GießenInstitut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft
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On Performativity - (re-)reading core texts of Performance Studies


MA CuP 02,07,08,09

MA ATW 01,03,04

BA ATW 04,05,11


In the course of the seminar we will read together crucial texts from the theoretical explorations that prepared, initiated and followed the so called "performative turn" in the humanities. We will start with initiating texts from ritual theory (V. Turner, R. Schechner ) and linguistics (J.R. Austin, J. Derrida) and follow the development in aesthetic, social and political theory gathered commonly under the umbrella term performance studies. The impact of performativity and performance as theoretical concepts informed and opened up a huge variety of discourses in visual arts and theatre studies (Peggy Phelan, Philip Auslander, Amelia Jones), as well as in queer and gender studies (Judith Butler, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, José Esteban Muñoz) and in anthropology/ethnography and its postcolonial critique (Homi K. Bhabha). At first we will use the discussions of our common readings of core texts to gain a general insight into the discourse. In the second half of the course there is the possibility to focus on one of the mentioned branches following the interest of the group.