Performativity is an interdisciplinary concept that emerged in fields like linguistics, theatre, literary and cultural studies and, broadly speaking, denotes the capacity to carry something out. "To perform" is to do something, which might seem quite clear when it comes to acting in plays or playing an instrument but is also true for our identity. According to philosopher and gender theorist Judith Butler, our entire social reality is continually created by means of performative acts, "through language, gesture, and all manner of symbolic social sign" ("Performative Acts and Gender Constitution").
This course is designed to familiarise you with the concept of performativity and provide you with the theoretical foundations and analytical tools to see culture from a different angle. We will find out what it means to perform identity and why bodies matter before we make use of this lens to study cases like social events.
Course requirements will be discussed in the introductory session.
Texts will be made available on Moodle after the introductory session.