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Performance and Performativity in German Cultural Studies


Carolin Duttlinger, Lucia Ruprecht and Andrew Webber

This volume assembles the select proceedings of an international conference held at the University of Cambridge in March 2002. The conference took its cue from the ‘performative turn’, which has put issues of performance and performativity at the centre of current academic debate in the humanities. The volume aims to show the ways in which German Studies have been turning towards questions of the performative in recent years. On the one hand, this involves an increased interest in the performing arts in the scholarship and teaching of German Studies and a growing understanding of the literary text too, as a performed process as much as a finished object, on the other, an incorporation of theories of performativity, not least in the area of gender and sexuality. The essays cover a range of performance media (theatre, film, performance art, photography) as well as the representation of turns or acts of performance in literary texts from Goethe to key contemporary writers. Together, they indicate exciting new ways forward for German Cultural Studies.
Contents: Carolin Duttlinger/Lucia Ruprecht: Introduction – Elizabeth Boa: Aping and Parroting: Imitative Performance in Goethe’s Die Wahlverwandtschaften – Ellis Hanson: Confession as Seduction: The Queer Performativity of the Cure in Sacher-Masoch’s Venus im Pelz – Johannes Türk: ‘Die Taktik der inneren Linie’: Performativity in Discourse on Trauma and in Robert Musil’s Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften – Claudia Liebrand/Ines Steiner: Techniques of Montage and Performances of Gender in Gustav Machatý’s Ekstase – Katrin Oltmann: ‘The final act is yet to be played...’: Gender Performance and Masquerade in Alexander Korda’s Samson und Delila – Marino Guida: Resisting Performance: Straub/Huillet’s Filming of Kafka’s Der Verschollene – David Barnett: Text as Material? The Category of ‘Performativity’ in Three Postdramatic German Theatre-Texts – Uta Staiger: Beyond the Body Politic: Reconsidering Performance and the State in Heiner Müller’s Versions of Medea – David Prickett: Envisioning the Homosexual: Gender Performance, Photography, and the Modernist Homosexual Aesthetic – Beth Linklater: ‘Ein einsames unverstandenes Kunstwerk’: Performing Gender through Make-up in Ingeborg Bachmann’s ‘Probleme Probleme’ and Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills – Cathy S. Gelbin: Metaphors of Genocide: The Staging of Jewish History and Identity in the Art of Tanya Ury – Markus Hallensleben: Performance of Metaphor: The Body as Text - Text Implantation in Body Images.