The Age Performances of Peggy Shaw: Intersection, Interoception and Interruption
This chapter argues that contemporary performance can trouble normative scripts of ageing femininity and examines the work of veteran performer Peggy Shaw, particularly her performances A Menopausal Gentleman (1998), Must: The Inside Story (2009) and Ruff (2013), in order to illuminate the ways that Shaw disrupts the specific identity position of “old woman” and offers a multifaceted performance of the old, female body. The chapter engages concepts of “intersection” (Crenshaw 1988), and “interoception” (Leder in The Absent Body 1990) in order to analyse Shaw’s subversion of behavioural scripts to which the aged female body is subject. It also examines how interruption, as a strategy employed in Ruff, negotiates the cognitive, material and professional status of Shaw’s post-stroke body, and produces an explicitly fragile age-performance.
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