Pictures of Theories: Performativity


Performativity (specifically Judith Butler’s iteration), Gender Studies:

Philosopher and feminist theorist Judith Butler offered a new, more Continental (specifically, Foucauldian) reading of the notion of performativity, which has its roots in linguistics and philosophy of language. She describes performativity as “that reiterative power of discourse to produce the phenomena that it regulates and constrains.” She has largely used this concept in her analysis of gender development. (Wikipedia)

There is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender… identity is performatively constituted by the very “expressions” that are said to be its results. (Judith Butler, Gender Trouble)

What is most important is to cease legislating for all lives what is liveable only for some, and similarly, to refrain from proscribing for all lives what is unlivable for some. (Judith Butler, Undoing Gender)

Judith Butler rocks.


Are you now, or have you ever been, a graduate student or professor? Are you an anomalous undergraduate who is really “into” theory? Send me your theories at or via facebook, and I will draw them. Esoteric terminology also accepted but will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


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