1st Edition

Performing Identity in the Era of COVID-19

    This innovative volume compels readers to re-think the notions of performance, performing, and (non)performativity in the context of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Given these multi-faceted ways of thinking about “performance” and its complicated manifestations throughout the pandemic, this volume is organised into umbrella topics that focus on three of the most important aspects of identity for cultural and intercultural studies in this historical moment: language; race/gender/sexuality; and the digital world. In critically re-thinking the meaning of “performance” in the era of COVID-19, contributors first explore how language is differently staged in the context of the global pandemic, compelling us to normalise an entirely new verbal lexicon. Second, they survey the pandemic’s disturbing impact on socio-political identities rooted in race, class, gender, and sexuality. Third, contributors examine how the digital milieu compels us to reorient the inside/outside binary with respect to multilingual subjects, those living with disability, those delivering staged performances, and even corresponding audiences.

    Together, these diverse voices constitute a powerful chorus that rigorously excavates the hidden impacts of the global pandemic on how we have changed the ways in which we perform identity throughout a viral crisis. This volume is thus a timely asset for all readers interested in identity studies, performance studies, digital and technology studies, language studies, global studies, and COVID-19 studies. It was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Intercultural Studies.

    1. Introduction—Viral Stagings Across the Globe: Performing Identity in the Era of COVID-19

    Rahul K. Gairola, et al.

    PART I ‘Acting Out’: Framing Language and Performance Today

    2. Revisiting Manhattan Music in the Time of COVID-19: Body Politics, Anti-Asian Racism and Negotiation of Ethnic Identity

    Farzana Akhter

    3. Reclaiming Everydayness and Japanese Cultural Routines in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

    Martin Roth

    4. Muslim Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Western Sydney: Understanding the Role of Community-Specific Communication Infrastructure

    Jasbeer Musthafa Mamalipurath and Tanya Notley

    5. Standing-Out and Fitting-In: The Acoustic-Space of Extemporised Speech

    Tim Flanagan

    PART II Enacting the Race, Gender, and Sexuality of COVID-19

    6. Networks of Alterity in Syndemic Times: Sociodigital Media Controversy Around Racism in Mexico

    André Dorcé

    7. Hope, Performative Diversity and Re-production: Hamilton and COVID-Era Politics

    Sarah Courtis, Melissa Merchant and Ellin Sears

    8. Enby in the Time of COVID-19: An Autoethnographic Reflection on Performing Non-binary Identity during Lockdown

    Alberto Fernández Carbajal

    9. Bodies of/at Work: How Women of Colour Experienced Their Workplaces and Have Been Expected to ‘Perform’ during the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Catherine Archer, et al.

    PART III Pandemic Performing and the Digital Milieu

    10. Egyptian Baladi, Australian Style in Lockdown: Seeking Connection

    Trisnasari Fraser

    11. Zoom Face: Self-surveillance, Performance and Display

    Tyne Daile Sumner

    12. Viral Assemblages and Witnessing Extraordinary Times: Queer Patchworks of Intimacy, Precarity and Affect in an Indian City

    Rohit K. Dasgupta

    13. Digital Literary Creative Practice and COVID-19

    David Thomas Henry Wright

    14. The Reshaping of Home, Privacy and Identity during a Pandemic

    Paul Longley Arthur and Isabel Smith


    Toby Miller


    Lauren O’Mahony (PhD, FHEA) is Senior Lecturer in Communications at Murdoch University, Western Australia. Her research focuses on Australian women’s literature as well as media analysis, media audiences, and creativity. Her research has been published in numerous high-quality journals and edited books.

    Rahul K. Gairola (PhD, Asia Research Centre Fellow) is The Krishna Somers Senior Lecturer in English and Postcolonial Literature at Murdoch University, Western Australia. He has internationally presented and published in reputable research forums for many years. He is Editor of the Routledge/Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) South Asian Book Series, and Area Editor for Oxford Bibliographies in Literary and Critical Theory.

    Melissa Merchant (PhD, SFHEA) is Academic Chair of English and Creative Arts at Murdoch University, Western Australia. Her recent research focuses on contemporary performativity. She has contributed to Journal of Intercultural Studies, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, The Seventeenth Century, and Outskirts, and a chapter in The Routledge Companion to Disability and the Media.

    Simon Order (M.Sc, PhD) is currently an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Murdoch University, Western Australia, who specialises in radio studies and music technology studies. His research has recently become more diverse with work focusing on post-apocalyptic television studies and universal design for online learning events and social mobility in Australia.