Show Less
Restricted access

Powerful Bodies

Performance in French Cultural Studies


Victoria Best and Peter Collier

In the first major overview of the latest and most challenging development in French cultural studies, this volume approaches the field of performance theory in its diverse applications. At the end of the twentieth century performance has become a highly significant theoretical framework that offers a new perspective on identity formation, the relationship of self and other, and the transformational properties of language. Inspired by the ideas of French and Anglo-American thinkers, including J.L. Austin, Roland Barthes, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler, Hélène Cixous, Erving Goffman, and Julia Kristeva, the authors engage with performance studies in four major areas of current concern: the body, the image, language and politics. In a wide-ranging series of new theoretical and applied readings, they apply their insights to the Commedia dell'Arte, the cinema of Kieslowski, the writings of Duras, Genet, Robbe-Grillet and Bernard Noël, as well as the performative artistry of figures as diverse as Orlan and de Gaulle. This book makes an invaluable contribution to the analysis of both literary and film theory.
Contents: Victoria Best / Peter Collier: Theory as/of Performance - Philippe Parker: Performing Emotion in the Commedia dell'Arte - David Jones: The Performance of the Abject: Jean Genet's Ce qui est resté d'un Rembrandt and Pompes Funèbres - Kate Ince: Between the Acts: Orlan, Performance and Performativity - Emma Wilson: Re-viewing Voyeurism: Performance and Vision in Kieslowski - Anna Myatt: Roland Barthes: Role Play in Autobiography and Photography - Julia Waters: 'L'écrivain est quelqu'un qu'on apostrophe': Media Image in Duras and Robbe-Grillet - Catherine Matheson: Vive le Québec libre: De Gaulle as Street Theatre in Quebec in 1967 - Johanna Malt: Montage in Surrealism as Political Metaphor: Performative Constructions of Meaning and Knowledge in Surrealism - Andy Stafford: 'Mise en crise': Roland Barthes from Stage to Text - Meryl Tyers: Identity and Poetry in Fragments: Bernard Noël in Close-up - Farhad Khoyratty: Brave New Words for Brave New Worlds? Illocutionary Force in Paul et Virginie and The Satanic Verses - Sarah Cooper: Genre and Sexuality: Cixous's and Derrida's Textual Performances.