Skip to main content Accessibility help

My Body, Your Body, Her-His Body: Is/Does Some-Body (Live) There?

  • Susan Melrose


Taking up the arguments set out by Anna Cutler in the preceding article, Susan Melrose here cautions against what she sees as the dangers Cutler fails to take into account of nominalization as an inherently conservative process. She suggests that the reification of the term ‘the body’ carries its own dangers, unless its complexities – as suggested by the title of this article – are recognized and assimilated. Arguing that many of the problems identified by Cutler are as applicable to the male as to the female performer, Susan Melrose concludes that the primacy of the word in documentation processes, though contested by Anna Cutler, has none the less caused her to overlook existing, effective forms of performance documentation, perhaps because they originate from and primarily serve the interests of performers rather than academics. Susan Melrose is Senior Lecturer at the Central School of Speech and Drama, where she leads the MA course in Performance Studies. She is author of A Semiotics of the Dramatic Text (Macmillan, 1994), and a contributor to numerous journals and symposia in her field. Further contributions to the debate initiated in these articles are planned and invited.



Hide All
Butler, J., Bodies That Matter (Routledge, 1994).
de Certeau, M., The Practice of Everyday Life (University of California Press, 1984).
Clifford, J. and Marcus, , Writing Culture (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986).
Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F., A Thousand Plateaus (University of Minnesota Press, 1987).
Dolan, J., ‘In Defence of the Discourse’, The Drama Review, No. 123 (Fall 1989).
Etchells, T. and Lowdon, R., ‘Forced Entertainment: Emanuelle Enchanted …’, Contemporary Theatre Review, II, No. 2 (1994).
Foster, S., Corporealities (Routledge, 1996).
Halliday, M., ‘Language and the Order of Nature’, in MacCabe, et al. , eds., The Linguistics of Writing (Manchester University Press, 1987).
Irigaray, L., This Sex Which Is Not One (Cornell University Press, 1985).
Lacan, J., Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (Penguin, 1994).
Melrose, S., A Semiotics of the Dramatic Text (Macmillan, 1994).
Melrose, S., ‘The Strange Arts of Ambivalence’, in Heathfield, A.., ed., Shattered Anatomies: Traces of the Body in Performance (Arnolfini Live, 1997).
Mulvey, L., ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’, Screen Reader in Sexuality (Routledge, 1993).
Schneider, R., The Explicit Body in Performance (Routledge, 1997).
Sellers, S.., ed., The Hélène Cixous Reader (Routledge, 1994).

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

My Body, Your Body, Her-His Body: Is/Does Some-Body (Live) There?

  • Susan Melrose


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.