IN RECENT YEARS, the importance of performative processes to the history of European culture has increasingly been recognized. This awareness is most evident in the academic discipline of performance studies and the fact that performativity is now widely discussed in the humanities and social sciences. Yet the question remains whether it is a theory that usefully allows us to analyse individual aesthetic phenomena, or a field of research that comprises all such phenomena.
Performativity has known implications for literary and cultural studies, yet scholarly research in this area is still rare. By drawing on the literature of China, Sweden, and the English-speaking world, the contributors to Performativity in Literature do much to redress this. In a series of wide-ranging essays, they seek answers to the fundamental question of what the text does in certain situations. And, in answering, each essay conceives of the text not only as meaning but as action.
Edited by Eva Hæettner Aurelius, He Chengzhou, and Jon Helgason. The volume is a collection of 17 papers. For information about the authors, see the inside cover flap.
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