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Description: From the age of Aristotle to the age of AIDS, writers, thinkers, performers and activists have wresteled with what "performance" is all about. Suddenly, theatre studies has transformed itself the study of plays to the study of performance. At the same moment, "performativity"--a new concept in language theory--has become a ubiquitous term in literary studies. What do these transformations have to do with one another. Is "performativity" necessarily theatrical? Are performances necessarily `performative'? This volume of new work by leading scholars in a range of fields grapples with the nature of these two key terms whose traces can be found everywhere: in the theatre, in the streets, in philosophy, in questions of race and gender, in the sentences we speak. Essays reexplore the classical definition of katharsis, its reinvention in the Renaiissance, performance in circum-Atlantic cultures and in African American literature, in Austin's language theory, ideas in twentieth-centuryperformance, and the performative nature of language in activism and hate speech legislation. Performativity and Performancetakes stock of the uses, implications, reimagined histories, and new opportunities these changing concepts now embrace. Contributors:Judith Butler, Elin Diamond, Andrew Ford, Timothy Gould, Stephen Orgel, Cindy Patton, Andrew Parker, Joseph Roach, Sandra L. Richards, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick.