Definitions

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  • noun linguistics Any of the participants, such as the subject or object, in a grammatical clause.

Etymologies

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Simultaneously coined in English and French by Bruno Latour from action +‎ -ant

Examples

  • Although I am using "actant" in the sense postulated by

    Notes on 'Framing Romantic Dress: Mary Robinson, Princess Caroline and the Sex/Text'

  • But this was controversial, not only for the question of when is the actant body, in its exploitation phase, atrophied (when is everything built up, so as to continue forever without man power), but more sinisterly, because it made clear that soon only one man alone would be quite sufficient to maintain the Universal body of Pulse or, in point of fact, to continue on to the realization of an actually 'domesticated' universe.

    The Pulse-Soldier

  • Prior catastrophic losses both in Mysore and in America had a lingering effect on future actions in India not only because the British could not afford further defeat, but also because the primary British actant in the Mysore Wars and the

    Projection, Patriotism, Surrogation: Handel in Calcutta

  • Brummell and Byron did, Robinson and Caroline employed gendered expectations of indecorous feminine behavior to straddle the divide between woman as décor and woman as actant by toying with the doubling nature of revealing fabrics, suggestive accoutrements, or outlandish getups.

    Framing Romantic Dress: Mary Robinson, Princess Caroline and the Sex/Text

  • The arrival, dissemination, and now normalization of the words 'post-human' or 'post-humanism' in literary, historical and cultural studies marks the addition of a new 'actor' or 'actant' to the assemblage of persons, machines, and the various parading of animal and plant remains employed to disseminate stories about the textual traces named 'past.'

    In the Middle

  • If, as Bennett argues in her new book, according to Jeffrey that matter "possesses aesthetic, affective and practical agencies: the world unfolds through our alliances with a lively materialism, where we are one actant among many within a turbulent identity network," then Jeffrey is also asking us to consider (I think) how an alliance between queer theory and theories of a "vibrant" material world might lead to a new ethics, a new politics.

    In the Middle

  • At the meta-ethical level I don't know if this gets us any further in questions of what a flat ethics might look like, but minimally it implies that one move to be made consists in treating every actant involved in a collective as a citizen.

    Larval Subjects .

  • Indeed we read each of the major actors in terms of his distance from the star system: Sonny's relationship to Maretti is that of superstar to character actor (Charles Durning), and our reading of this particular narrative is not a direct passage from one character or actant to another, but passes through the mediation of our identification and decoding of the actors 'status as such.

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