Performativity (WS 2014/15 - SS 2017)

Former group leaders: Prof. Dr. Burcu Dogramaci, Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme

The study group comprised doctoral students, postdocs and principal investigators from four disciplines: theatre studies, art history, East European history and Slavic literature/film. Our interests converged around questions involving the visual and performing arts, in particular theories of performativity. Performativity and performance have become some of the most frequently cited concepts in the humanities and social sciences of the past twenty years. Although by no means synonymous, they are related and designate cultural expressions that are significant in terms of what they do rather what they refer to. This emphasis on doing rather than meaning could also be expressed as a shift from signs, semantics and signification – the usual stuff of humanistic endeavour – to performance, the so-called 'performative turn'. Viewing the world as a performance implies a shift of emphasis away from referentiality, immutability and legibility to ephemerality, process and spectatorship. Whether in politics, history, literary studies or art history, performativity leads inexorably to a focus on performances of any kind ranging from political ceremonies to museum installations, from weddings to demonstrations, from subjectivity toethnicity. Where there are actors and spectators (in the broadest sense of the terms) there is performativity.

Former Members:

Anna Baumgartner, M.A.

Mag.a Katalin Cseh-Varga

Marija Đokić, M.A.

Helena Holzberger, M.A.

Henriette Reisner, M.A.

Dr. Berenika Szymanski-Düll