The Power of Classification

Part of the Studies in International Performance book series (STUDINPERF)


This listing above of different dances and dance related items is, in Michel Foucault’s words, a ‘linking together of things that are inappropriate’ (1973: xvii). One can marvel at the manner in which Foucault develops his ideas on classification in The Order of Things, based on his reading of a passage in a book by Luis Borges. What occupies Foucault’s thoughts is a fictitious entry on animals in a Chinese Encyclopedia. He interprets the Chinese taxonomy created by Borges as ‘thought without space […] words and categories that lack all life and place,’ located in a geographical site that the West conceives as a ‘vast reservoir of utopias’ (1973: xix).1 Utopia should be understood here as a non-space, lacking order. In Foucault’s reading this taxonomy does not categorize things in a manner that enables us to name, speak, and think.


Swedish Context Discursive Power Process Geography Dance Form Solo Performance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Lena Hammergren 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department for Musicology and Performance StudiesStockholm UniversitySweden
  2. 2.University College of DanceStockholmSweden

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