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Textuality, Visuality and Performativity in German Studies
Cambridge, March 2002

Call for papers

Performance! Textuality, Visuality and Performativity in German Studies

7-8 March 2002
University of Cambridge, UK
Gonville & Caius College

Keynote speakers: Elizabeth Boa, Claudia Liebrand, Sander Gilman.

Over the last decade the use of performance and performativity as key concepts of
critical theory has exceeded linguistics, anthropology and sociology. Performance
and performativity have been deployed as discursive analytical tools by a variety
of disciplines and theories. They have been particularly influential on identity
theories, especially those of gender and sexuality, as well as cultural studies
and research on literature, theatre, dance and media.

We encourage interdisciplinary work which traces notions of performance,
performativity and the performative in German Studies, rethinks their highly
heterogeneous usages in theoretical discourses and/or applies these concepts in
close analyses.

Topics and possible questions may include, but are not limited to:

* Sociology and anthropology: How does German culture represent itself in everyday
  'performances' or rituals? Can this representation be considered a
  self-fulfilling prophecy insofar as representation, figuration and performance
  are always superseded and rendered felicitous by one another?

* Dance, theatre, performance art and the fine arts: What is the influence and
  position of 'performance' as an art in 'high' culture and popular culture in the
  German speaking countries? How has performance been relevant as a power 
  influencing culture and politics?

* Language and literature: What is the influence of linguistic and cultural
  performativity on literary performance? To what extent do textual performances 
  in German literature form and exceed concepts of individual, cultural and sexual

* Media studies and film: How does the increasing performativity of audiovisual
  (analogue and digital) media challenge the cultural hegemony of textuality? What
  possibilities does the relationship between representation and performance or
  the performativity of representation offer?

* History: Can the question of German identity be productively reformulated in the
  context of historical performativity and cultural performance?

* Gender: How are female, male, queer, transgendered, drag and BDSM identities
  based on the performance of an essence or on an enactment/citation of cultural

* Body Cult: How do the more extreme practices of body modification and 
  stylisation such as piercings, implants, eating disorders and body building 
  relate to everyday enactments of corporeal norms and images?

* Illness and trauma: How can they be considered performances as they exceed the
  control of the subject? Can performance and performativity reconfigure illness 
  and trauma?

We invite interested scholars - especially younger researchers and graduate
students - to submit 20-minute paper abstracts of approximately 300 words in
English or in German by 15 November 2001 in the body of an email to:

We intend to publish a selection of papers.

Organizing Committee
Carolin Duttlinger
Lucia Ruprecht
Michael Gratzke
Astrid-Elke Kurth

Please address further questions to