This wiki represents work completed for the Key Terms Project for the Fall 2010 session of ENG 120: Composition Theory and the
Teaching of Writing with Harry Denny.

The term, performativity, has proven to be one of the most complicated that I have explored. Its innate interdisciplinarity has been explored by so many scholars, sociologists, theorists and philosophers in so many different ways that a complete understanding of the term seems impossible. Instead of reinterpreting Heidegger and Derridean notions of performativity, this wiki attempts to define some of the ways in which the notion of performativity has pervaded some genres and disciplines. It begins with the understanding that performativity is neither solely a speech act nor kinesthetic act; it is not simply perceived through written or spoken language. It is neither completely expressive nor is it only non-verbal. It is the everyday, and it is political. It is agent and vehicle of social change, and constitutive of identities. It is a term whose implications reach farther than words are capable to completely express. This wiki is just a brief attempt at an explanation.