Interview with Diamela Eltit: What is Performance Studies? (2011)

Interview with Diamela Eltit: What is Performance Studies? (2011) HIDVL

Interview with Diamela Eltit, conducted by Diana Taylor, founding director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. This interview is a part of a series curated by the Hemispheric Institute, articulated around the question 'What is Performance Studies?' The series aims to provide a multifaceted approach to the often difficult task of defining the coordinates of both a field of academic study as well as a lens through which to assess and document cultural practice and embodied behavior. The contingent definitions documented in this series are based on the groundbreaking experiences and the scholarly endeavors of renowned figures in contemporary performance studies and practice.


Diamela Eltit is a distinguished Chilean performance artist, novelist and cultural critic. Winner of the Guggenheim Fellowship and numerous other awards and appointments, Eltit was a member of the acclaimed Colectivo de Acciones de Arte (CADA), a Chilean activist group of artists who used performance to challenge Pinochet's dictatorship in Chile. She has been an important cultural presence during the years of the post-dictatorship through her participation in journals such as the Revista de Crítica Cultural. Both as an artist and a critic, Eltit's work constitutes an important contribution to feminist theory and cultural debates. In 2000, she published 'Emergencias: Escritos sobre literatura, arte y política,' a book of essays which brings together some of her literary and cultural criticism. Her narrative work includes 'Lumpérica' (1983), 'Por la patria' (1986), 'El padre mío' (1989), 'El infarto del alma' (with photographer Paz Errázuriz [1994]), 'Mano de obra' (2002), 'Jamás el fuego nunca' (2007), and most recently 'Impuesto a la carne' (2010). Both individually and as a member of CADA, Diamela Eltit was one of the most important contributors to the 'Escena de Avanzada.' Eltit has also held positions as writer-in-residence at Brown University, Washington University in St. Louis, Columbia University, UC/Berkeley the University of Virginia, Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University. She is currently the Distinguished Global Professor of Creative Writing in Spanish at NYU.


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Additional Info

  • TItle: Diamela Eltit: What is Performance Studies?
  • Alternate Title: Entrevista con Diamela Eltit
  • Date: 15 Dec 2011
  • Location: Filmed in New York City at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics
  • Interviewee: Diamela Eltit
  • Interviewer: Diana Taylor
  • Duration: 00:25:55
  • Language: Spanish