From Homo Performans to Interspecies Collaboration

Expanding the Concept of Performance to Include Animals
  • Laura Cull


As Martin Puchner has noted, ‘our understanding of the human depends on our conceptions of [nonhuman] animals’ (2007, p. 21). But more than this, humans have long since relied upon the animal in order to produce ideas around the exceptionalism of their own species. In this respect, Puchner draws on Giorgio Agamben’s notion of the ‘anthropological machine’ to address

the repeated, almost automatic act of drawing the distinction between the human and the animal, an act through which the two categories are produced. Some animals are separated out from all the others and given a special name, ‘human’, which is then placed in opposition to a second category, defined by the exclusion from the human realm: ‘animal’. (2007, p. 23)


Performance Study Nonhuman Animal Humpback Whale Reductive Definition Modern Language Association 
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Copyright information

© Laura Cull 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Cull
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Theatre and DanceUniversity of SurreyUK

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