Politics of representation B.

Course convenor

András Müllner

Course content

The course is designed to give students a thorough understanding of how speech acts (or performatives) work: the way they represent somebody or make somebody feel being invested with representative power. First we shall investigate John Austin’s theory on constative and the performative speech. Then, through Andrew Parker and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s examples, we will consider how the often violently operatic performative is hedged and the way utterances work in language with the help of the performative (ideological or interpellative as Althusser would say). Our scope will be extended to the field of performance and we will draw connections between performatives and performances based on citationality and theatricality. In the second half of the semester we will work on case studies taken from everyday life as well as from Late Modernist (Neoavantgarde) Hungarian performance art.

Indicative reading

Austin, John L.: How to do things with words. The William James Lectures delivered at Harvard University in 1955, szerk. J.O. Urmson, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1973.

Jacques Derrida: Signature événement contexte, in Marges de la philosophie, Editions de Minuit, 1972. In English: Signature Event Context, ford. Alan Bass, in Margins of Philosophy, The Harvester Press, University of Chicago,1986, 307-330.

Jonathan Culler: On Deconstruction. Theory and Criticism after Structuralism, Cornell UP, 1982. (Chapter „Meaning and Iterability”)

Andrew Parker – Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick: Introduction to Performativity and Performance, in Andrew Parker – Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (ed.): Performativity and Performance, Routledge, New York – London, 1995, 1-18.

Judith Butler: Bodies that Matter. On the Dicoursive Limits of „sex”, Routledge, 1993. (Chapter „Critically Queer”)

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