Cultural theory has taken a 'performative turn', shifting its focus from the textual nature of the world to how the social world is narrated, its subjects are subjected and its relations are ritually enacted. The rise of performativity in cultural theory - spearheaded in many ways by feminist theory - has profound implications for the way we think about ethics and politics. Indeed, as it concerns all aspects of 'difference', it reshapes the ways we think about the continuities and interruptions of social life itself.Culture and Performance explores the development and direction of the notion of performativity. It interrogates the idea of subjectivity, the possibility of ethics and, beyond this, it explores new ways of thinking political imaginations and possibilities. It traces the implications of the concept, and assesses the critique that is emerging from a renewed interest in creativity.
Vikki Bell is Reader in Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She is author of Interrogating Incest and Feminist Imagination and editor of Perfomativity and Belonging.
* Preface * The Promise of Performativity: Theory and/as Political Ethic * Genealogy, Generation and Partiality * Negotiating the Non-Ethical * Performative Politics * Rhetorical Figures: On 'Dangerous Thought', Fear and Politics * Performativity Challenged? Creativity and the Return of Interiority