The Language Plays a Role! The Performance Studies between Philosophy and Anthropology

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The article comprises a critical approach to Performance Studies from a philosophy of language perspective. Ideas that originate in “late” works of Ludwig Wittgenstein are fundamental for the presentation of this new perspective, since they enable to reanalyze key concepts of other authors, such as Michaił Bakthin, Gregory Bateson, John Austin, each of whom was interested in different aspect of language. These authors form part of a wide pantheon of Performance Studies precursors. The article’s findings can be useful to once again examine the concept and method of “performing ethnography”, founded by Victor Turner. His attempts-rehearsals (which should be at least dually perceived), which aimed at reviving ethnographic experience, have revealed that the process of preparation of an ethnographic text for performance adaptation as well as the performing experience can lead the participants of such events to deeper anthropological knowledge and understanding.

Keywords: Performance Studies, performative turn, language, Wittgenstein, Bachtin, Bateson, Austin, text, “performing ethnography”, anthropology

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