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Małgorzata Sugiera

Małgorzata Sugiera

Interweaving Performance Cultures

Fellow 2015/16

Dr. Małgorzata Sugiera is a Full Professor at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, and Head of the Department of Performance Studies. Her main research areas are performance theories, cultural studies and queer studies. She has published ten books in Polish, most recently Other Shakespeare: New Readings of the European Canon (2009) and, together with Mateusz Borowski, In the Trap of Opposites: Ideologies of Identity (2012). Her new book, Nonhumans: Reports from Artificial Natures, is forthcoming in December 2015. She has co-edited three books in English and German: Fictional Realities / Real Fictions. Contemporary Theatre in Search of a New Mimetic Paradigm (2007); Theater spielen und denken. Polnische Texte des 20. Jahrhunderts (2008); Worlds in Words: Storytelling in Contemporary Theatre and Playwriting (2010). She is also an active translator into Polish of German, English and French books and theatre plays. She is a member of the interdisciplinary panel of experts of the European Research Council (ERC) in Brussels, Belgium, and of the Review Panel of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST).

Research Project

Performativity Trouble: What do performance and its derivatives mean in different languages and cultures? 

The research project addresses the question of the interweaving of languages, cultures, academic disciplines and terminologies as illustrated by the reception of “performativity” as the keyword of today’s (post)humanities. The term functions as a vehicle for a host of contemporary inquiries and academic discourses that abundantly use the word and its derivatives. This intellectual ferment surrounding performance not only influenced the humanities and the social sciences. It also seems to be the most likely link between the humanities and the technosciences, because both areas share similar processes of knowledge production. The aim of the project thus is threefold: (a) I remain on the firm ground of the methodologies developed within theatre studies to consider the substantial differences on the level of understanding what performance is both in the field of art and cultural activity, and of institutional and educational organization; (b) I take a closer look at the genealogy and the specific intellectual roots of performance and performativity to show how the differently shaped fields and terminologies today partially overlap; and (c) by looking at local forms of performance as both humanistic and technical fields of research as well at discourses around them translated into other languages and cultures, I analyze the dynamics of global/local exchanges in order to see how strongly performance theories and performance studies are influenced by a Western way of thinking and therefore play a neocolonial role outside of the Western world, blocking specific local discourses.     


Recommended Publications

  • Jackson, S., Professing Performance. Theatre in the Academy from Philology to Performativity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2004.
  • McKenzie, J., Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance, London, New York: Routledge 2001.
  • Taylor, D., The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas, Durham: Duke University Press 2003.
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