Ontology of Absence

Sylwia Dobkowska

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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My doctoral thesis examines what absence is and how it works in a performance. I study the paradox of representation, whereby absence is never absent and presence is not present. I have named this using the oxymoron present absence. I use Jacques Derrida’s philosophy and survey various theories in theatre studies, which define limits of presence and absence. My research provides an alternative account of the mode of reading the notion of absence in performance. I find the significance of absence in political context of visual culture.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Rebellato, Dan, Supervisor
  • Nield, Sophie, Advisor
Award date1 Jan 2015
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014


  • absence
  • presence
  • theatre
  • visual arts
  • Derrida, Jacques
  • philosophy
  • performance

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