9566 - Performativity - This course explores the origins and permutations of the terms "performative" and "performativity" in philosophical, linguistic, anthropological, and cultural discourses. We will begin with readings in ordinary language philosophy and speech-act theory (Wittgenstein, Austin, Searle, Benveniste), then study the confrontation and interaction between Angle-American and Continental traditions over the issue of speech acts (Derrida, de Man). Adaptions of the performative in anthropological, sociological, cultural, and gender studies will be explored through readings in Turner, Althusser, Lyotard, Bourdieu, Butler, and Zizek. Depending on the interests of participants, seminar presentations and position papers could focus on applications of speech-act theory and performativity theory within other disciplines (e.g., literary theory, music, art, political, science, legal theory). The goal of the seminar is to gain an overview of the meaning, connotations, and scope of the concept of performativity within contemporary theory, and to assess its usefulness for thinking about texts, on the one hand, and about the construction of the subject and society, on the other.
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