Reconsidering Performativity, Performance and Imagination: A Possibility in Erasing the Difference

Tapaswi H M

Doctoral research scholar, Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities (MCPH), MAHE. ORCID: 0000-0002-6867-6088. Email:

 Volume 10, Number 1, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n1.04

Received October 30, 2017; Revised January 26, 2018; Accepted January 30, 2018; Published February 04, 2018.


The overarching history of the term ‘performativity’ seems to have undergone variety of meaning starting from linguistic studies to gender. This variation in meaning, however, seems to differentiate the term ‘performativity’ from the other term which has the same root word, i.e. ‘performance’. The association between ‘performativity’ and ‘performance’ doesn’t seem to be studied extensively with reference to theatre. This article tries to examine the possible connection between these two terms and the role of imagination in the process of connecting these two terms. Taking into the account the idea of transformation of actor into a character and the role of imagination this article examines the subtleties of performance and performativity. The article discusses this connection with the help of an example from the mid-sixteenth century.

 Keywords: Performativity, performance, imagination, gender, actor, audience.