Žižek and Australian Masculinity: Perceiving Gender Violence in David Williamson’s The Removalists

Published in 2008, Slavoj Žižek’s Violence: Six Sideways Reflections provides critical insight into the structures of power which dictate our perception and comprehension of violence in society. In particular, Žižek’s conception of the distinction between the subjective and objective modes of perceiving violence is particularly illuminating. This paper utilizes Žižek’s distinction to recontextualize and reframe a classic of Australian theatre, David Williamson’s The Removalists. [i] This approach puts Žižek’s seminal work on violence to task, teases out new meanings from Williamson’s text, and most broadly, explores new methods for understanding the playing out of violence on stage.
Keywords Australian Literature  Australian Theatre  Critical Theory  David Williamson  Domestic Violence  Theatre Studies  Violence  Violence Studies  Žižek
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