The common association between theater and community is here inverted to explore the relationship between theatrical practice and immunity, or “affects of adjustment” between spectator and event. Drawing upon Roberto Esposito’s figuring of relations between community and immunity, on Jacques Ranciere’s propositions of the “emancipated spectator” and the part of those who have no part,” and Gerald Raunig’s conception of “Division” from his work on the Dividuum (2016), this essay examines a sequence of case studies central to the author’s own practiced experiences: Rotherhithe Theatre Workshop in the 1980s, Transhumance in the 1990s, and the Performance Biennial Athens in 2016. The dynamic here is to track an increasing scepticism about the social claims made for theater and ways of discussing performance that do not surrender to pseudo action in the absence of political commitment and change. The essay concludes amongst the Greek Attic Kraters of the 5th century BCE, curated from the Liverpool Museums at Tate Liverpool, contesting that the “ceramic state” continues at the interface between the continual promise of immersion and material histories of exclusion from the scene.


affects of adjustment, community, ceramic state, curation, division, emancipation, immersion, immunity, participation, partition, performance, precarity, shame, spectator, theater

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

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Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
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Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
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Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
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University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
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Inderpal Grewal
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Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
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University of Cape Town (South Africa)
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University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
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University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
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University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
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University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
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Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
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Temario Rivera
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Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

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Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
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Barnard College (US)
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Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)