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Performance as Method

  • Universität Zürich KOL-G-220 71 Rämistrasse Zürich, ZH, 8006 Switzerland (map)

Performance Art (as) Theory #4

It is with great pleasure that we announce a lecture by Małgorzata Sugiera, Head of the Department for Performativity Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, about »Performance as Method. A Critical Approach to Western Episteme«.

Diana Taylor in her book Performance (2016) rightly argues that performance studies belong to an emerging area of postdisciplinarity because their manifold objects of study­—a process, a praxis, an episteme, a mode of transmission, a means of intervening in the world—is by definition bound to break disciplinary boundaries. At the same time performance researchers strive to methodologically interweave culturally divergent knowledge systems and embodied knowing-practices, undermining the Western episteme and its basic binaries. Either they formulate their own hands-on definition of what performance/performativity is, or examine similar processes, modes, and methods specific for their discipline (like ANT, situated knowledges, geo-historical and bio-graphical locality, assemblages, to name just a few).
Taking as a starting point Ted Chiang’s Story of Your Life (1998), the main objective of the talk is, therefore, to take a closer look at three strands of studies important in this respect—decoloniality studies, critical anthropology, and Black studies—in order to examine how different experiences and genealogies of thought come together to question from within the dominant geo- and ego-politics of knowledge of the Western academia.