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Performance and Performativity


The Performance and Performativity Research Group (PP) aims to expand ‘performativity’ as an analytic scope to bring colleagues at MLAC together and allow productive conversations regarding performance and performativity that bridge various language and subject areas. It creates links between the theorizations in visual culture that are profoundly connected to performance/performativity, e.g. trauma, archive, and memorialization, and contributeS to ethical dialogue at the School by addressing issues including unconscious bias, stereotypes and judgment. A wide range of academic disciplines have contributed to the study of ‘performativity’, including Dance/Theatre/Performance Studies, English, Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, Rhetoric and Communication Studies, Philosophy, Anthropology, and Gender/Sexuality Studies, amongst others. Performativity here means not only ‘performance’ as an art form, but as a component of various aspects of everyday life – performativity of language, gender/sexuality, race, law, the body, trauma, memory, etc. Employing performativity as an analytic scope, PP is an inclusive community designed to invite colleagues of all subject/language areas and periods and host discussions regarding performance and performativity. PP will strengthen the School’s research culture on performance-related subjects and performativity alongside visual culture. Another axis of PP consists in performing the unconscious, which concerns how combined elements of gender, race, language, culture, politics and the economy/commerce that have shaped one’s subjectivity are unconsciously manifested in, and affect, our relationships with others, and how the body ‘speaks’ those elements in sub- or unconscious states. It concerns not only the traditional psychoanalytic sense of the unconscious, but it includes object relations, emotions and affect as well as pre-Freudian psychological studies. Meditating such issues is an integral part of academic disciplines and the research group will seek to contribute to the ethical research dialogue at the School.

Contact Fusako Innami or Katrin Wehling-Giorgi for more information.