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Performance (cultural theory)
(1,352 words)

1. Definition

The German term Performanz (“performance”) has come into common use only in recent decades; it is limited primarily to academic contexts. It did not exist in the early modern period – even in Latin, the verb performare (“form completely”) was rare. In other European languages such as English and French, performance has two semantic foci: the energy output of a machine or athlete and dramatic performance on a stage (not necessarily in a theater). This latter dimension of perform…

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Bremer, Kai and Wirth, Uwe, “Performance (cultural theory)”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 28 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025380>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721



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