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This chapter considers how language becomes action, considering Judith Butler’s theory of performativity as a practice alongside J. L. Austin’s concept of performatives. Conventions are crucial to both of these, and as with performance, performatives are all about the frame. More than simply a description of an act, performative language becomes the “act itself,” as in Jesusa Rodríguez and Liliana Felipe’s weddings and Peggy Shaw’s Split Britches performance. Through a consideration of Occupy Wall Street, this chapter further develops these concepts into the idea of animatives, inappropriate responses to a performative utterance that challenges or exceeds discursive formulation.

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