Teachers and Teaching: Subjectivity, performativity and the body

Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (2):178-192 (2011)

It has become almost commonplace to recognise that teaching is an embodied practice. Most analyses of teaching as embodied practice focus on the embodied nature of the teacher as subject. Here, we use Butler's concept of performativity to analyse the reiterated acts that are intelligible as—performatively constitute—teaching, rather of the teacher as subject. We suggest that this simultaneously helps explain the persistence of teaching as a narrow repertoire of actions recognisable as ‘teaching’, and the policing of conformity to teaching thus embodied. However, like performatively accomplished subjectivity, this repertoire is unstable and ambiguous, and thus open to change and disruption. Moreover, teacher subjectivities may lead them to mobilise these possibilities of disruption
Keywords performativity  subjectivity  teacher's body  teachers  teaching
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2009.00552.x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 43,780
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

How to Do Things with Words: Speech Acts in Education.Renia Gasparatou - 2018 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 50 (5):510-518.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
60 ( #137,109 of 2,265,030 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #449,910 of 2,265,030 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature