Relationality, Comparison, and Identity: The Performance, Politics, and Academic Reception of Denise Stoklos

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Literature and cultural production from around the world is subject, within the Anglo-European academy, to analysis via a set of institutionalized theories that, while diverse and often contradictory, represent only one such body of institutionalized theory. When these different theoretical terrains become the object of comparison, the definition of comparison itself shifts. The comparison at stake here is between two analyses of the theatre of Denise Stoklos, a Brazilian performance artist – the first grounded in Lacanian psychoanalysis and the second in Brazilian cultural theory. The Brazilian theory suggests that a multiplicity of contradictory elements contained within a single subject or nation is, in fact, a source of democratic strength rather than an obstacle to an imagined unity. Similarly, Brazilian comparative theory suggests that keeping both the Anglo-European and the Brazilian theoretical terrain in sight simultaneously allows for a richer understanding of the political implications of cultural production within Brazil and of new definitions of comparison more broadly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-91
JournalJournal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2020

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