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Raoul Eshelman (Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich), on Thursday, January 15th, 2009 at 5.oo pm at the Dapartment of History, ul. św. Marcin 78, 61-809 Poznań, room 118, will deliver a guest lecture on "Performatism, or the End of Postmodernism"

Organization: Ewa Domanska, IH UAM, email: ewa@amu.edu.pl

Performatism, or the End of Postmodernism


The lecture will present in shortened form a systematic, stringent attempt to define the epoch after postmodernism (performatism). In contrast to the dualist semiotics, narrative metalepsis, and endless discursive irony peculiar to postmodernism, performatism forces us to experience aesthetically mediated, unified states of belief within the particular confines of a work. This is achieved through a device called double framing, which creates a binding relationship between the outer boundaries of the work and a monist scene or sign within the work. The result is a “lock” or “trap” occluding the endless irony of discourse and forcing viewers or readers to perceive the work as a binding unity in spite of their awareness of its artificiality and constructedness. This device will be demonstrated using examples taken from literature, film, architecture, and art.

Raoul Eshelman, Performatism, or the End of Postmodernism. Aurora: The Davies Group Publishers, 2008.

read chapter I: Performatism, or the End of Postmodernism (American Beauty) [.pdf]

Raoul Eshelman

Raoul Eshelman is a German-American Slavist presently teaching in the Department of Comparative Literature at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. He earned his B.A. in 1978 from Rutgers University (USA), a Ph.D. in Slavic Literature from Konstanz University (1988), and wrote his Habilitation in the same subject at the University of Hamburg in 1995. He is the author of three books: Gumilev and Neoclassical Modernism (Frankfurt a.M. 1993), Early Soviet Postmodernism (Frankfurt a.M. 1997) and Performatism, or the End of Postmodernism (Aurora CO, 2008) as well as numerous articles on Russian and Czech modernism and postmodernism.

©ed | 2009

Raoul EshelmanZbigniew LiberaRaoul Eshelman