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Performativity and Visual Culture

This course explores the concept of performativity, and the ways in which it may be used in the interpretation of art and visual culture.

Originating from the field of linguistics, performativity has become an increasingly important concept within social sciences and humanities, enabling us to understand and interpret the outside world, and our personal identities, as shaped and transformed through actions, gestures and signs in social space. Works of art and other images may likewise be understood as performative acts, not only representing the world, but actually contributing to its formation. Throughout this course, the students will work with contemporary as well as historical examples.

  • Course structure

    Teaching format

    Instruction is mandatory and given in the form of lectures, seminars and study visits. The language of instruction is English.


    The course is examined on the basis of oral and written assignments and a take-home examination.

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.
  • Contact

    Study Councellor

    Richard Carlsén

    Students Affairs Office