In the sea of memory : embodiment and agency in the black diaspora
Bakare-Yusuf, Bibi (2000) In the sea of memory : embodiment and agency in the black diaspora. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1372973~S15
This thesis is a sustained meditation on the relationship between embodiment, memory
and cultural creativity in the black diaspora. It seeks to generate a theoretical vocabulary
outside the stale polarisation between essentialism and anti-essentialism. Using the
phenomenology of lived experience, I contend that black diasporic memory and identity
are actively constructed within each present. I argue that bodily expression is part of a
broader set of cultural strategies of self-definition, self-maintenance and self-preservation.
In the case of the black diaspora, the past is evoked, invoked and provoked
into existence once again through each expression of embodiment. A key concern in the
thesis is therefore to highlight the active capacity of the body to recreate its world and in
the process empower, renew and re-orient itself in the face of adversity and oppression.
Rather than succumb to an account of black diasporicity as either a history of pain or the
background of cultural hybridity, I argue that the pleasures and pains of black
diasporicity are different aspects of the same ongoing phenomenon. Through the
example of Jamaican dancehall culture, I show how the adorned, transgressive dancing
body of dancehall women creates a dynamic of eroticised autonomy in an otherwise
hostile environment. In sum, my thesis provides an analysis of the dynamics of diasporic
identity and the antiphonies of continuity and discontinuity.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||D History General and Old World > DT Africa
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||African diaspora, Blacks -- Race identity, Dance halls -- Jamaica|
|Official Date:||September 2000|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Centre for the Study of Women and Gender|
|Extent:||vii, 316 leaves|
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