Theatre- og performancestudies/History of Art/Visual Culture/Modern Culture/Music: Bodies in/of Difference - Corporeal Performance Strategies

Course content

In recent years there has been an increased interest in issues of body and identity on the Danish art scene. This course engages with some of the questions regarding representation and art’s potential for change, that arise with such a turn.


The course will align itself with ‘the performative turn’ and a broad notion of performance within an interdisciplinary and international scope. We will engage the potentials of what Amelia Jones has coined as Body Art within a historical context, as well as look at contemporary examples of how art can function as a space for subversive body and identity strategies, but also as an arena for upholding and reiterating normativity.


We will think about how bodies matter and come to matter in and through performance (including, but not limited to, stage art, visual art and performance art). We will examine the body as a generator of political possibilities, alternative narratives, and subversive tactics, highlighting the body as a continuous performing entity. We will engage with select performance strategies such as self-mutilation, pleasure, and visibility, as well as explore notions such as disidentification, corporeography, and material becoming. Throughout the course, we will mainly focus on artists and works that deal with racialized, queer, and precarious bodies.


We will explore discursive and performative constructions of ’body’ and embodiment as we work with artists such as Gina Pane, Jeanette Ehlers, Cassils, and Mette Ingvartsen. But also artists who work outside a more traditional performance setting; Julianna Huxtable, Laura Aguilar, Lygia Clark, and Suanara Taylor.


The course will be grounded in newer performance, queer and feminist theory through ex. Paul Preciado, José Esteban Muñoz, Sara Ahmed, André Lepecki, Robert McRuer, Karen Barad, and Amelia Jones.


The course will entail an active writing practice through which we will engage and challenge presented theories and performance strategies. The course includes a number of performance and museum visits.

Suggestions for prepatory reading before course start (not obligatory):


Amelia Jones "Body art/performing the subject” 

Judith Butler "Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex” 

José Esteban Muñoz "Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity”

Type of assessment
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 84
  • Exam
  • 84
  • Guidance
  • 196
  • English
  • 420