Performativity

Judith Butler

“Performativity” Butler says “is construed of that power of discourse to produced effects through re-iteration, to produce what it declares.” Performativity however, is only possible within the constraints of  “iterability.” We are spoken more than we speak, done more than we do; therefore we are “constrained by what remains radically unthinkable” and, in the area of sexuality “by the radical unthinkability of desiring otherwise”. Inhabiting a sexed position then always engages citational practices, “citing the law under and through the force of prohibition and taboo, with the threat of ostracism and even death compelling and controlling the shape of production but without fully pre-determining it.” “Agency” then, according to Butler’s reconfiguration, is always “on drugs”. It is always under the influence of language and can only take place within our reiteration of the reiterable. Continue reading