Anthropology Speaking For Performance As Verbal Artistry Discussion

1) write a 4 sentences reply to this discussion

“Performance puts the act of speaking on display- objectifies it, lifts it to a degree from its interactional setting and opens it to scrutiny by an audience. Performance heightens awareness of the act of speaking and licenses the audience to evaluate the skill and effectiveness of the performer’s accomplishment.” (187)

This chapter was one of my favorites. I really enjoyed every theory that was mentioned, in particular this one. The concept of ‘performance as a display of visual artistry’ was really interesting and unique. The first line of this quote, “Performance puts the act of speaking on display.”, really caught my attention. My favorite part about this class, and this chapter especially, is how it can take something so mundane and relate it back to the influence linguistics has on it. No one ever goes to see a play or a movie while thinking how ‘speaking is on display’. Rather, we go to be entertained and escape our reality for a few hours. However, as an audience sits and watches the actors performing, the words at hand are open for interpretation and scrutiny. Every word and action are considered differently to everyone in the audience. What the actors say, how they say it, and why they say it can all be related back to someone in the crowd. While watching a play, certain line will make us laugh or cry, happy or sad, or even angry or upset. The power of words is extremely more significant than any of us recognize. What these actors are saying comes across in a powerful way to the invested audience. For the moment of time that we are watching the words being spoken, we can think about the power that the words have and how those words will change what happens next. Verbal artistry is the perfect title for this scenario. An audience comes to see a story unfold, and that usually only happens when communication takes place. As we watch movies or plays, we must remember the importance of speaking and how vulnerable an audience can become once they’re mesmerized by the actors on stage. Performances are the perfect way to express ideas and tell stories. The words that are spoken can be translated, interpreted, and understood in a different way, with relation to every individual in the audience.

2) After reading Chapter 9 of the Ahearn textbook and viewing the related segments of Lecture 10, I would like you to respond to the following prompt:

Explain what is meant by the three items on the list below, and illustrate your explanations using case examples from your own life (or lives of those you know, or who are represented in movies and TV shows, or in society that you are aware of.)

1. “Performance” as opposed to “Comptetence”, from a linguistic viewpoint

2. Performativity of words

3. Performance as verbal artistry

By case study/anecdote I mean the kind of case examples shared at the beginning of Chapter 9 that Dr. Ahearn used to illustrate the items on this list.

Lecture 10.1 introduces you to these terms as well as to the case studies/anecdotes shared by Dr. Ahearn at the beginning of Chapter 9, so my hint is for you to start there. This will aid your understanding in what you need to do for this Quiz question.

The case examples should be in paragraph or dialog form and should be about a paragraph each. Let me know if you have any questions.

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