Sensational Knowledge: Embodying Culture Through Japanese Dance

Wesleyan University Press, 7 mai 2007 - 197 pages
How do music and dance reveal the ways in which a community interacts with the world? How are the senses used in communicating cultural knowledge? In Sensational Knowledge, ethnomusicologist and dancer Tomie Hahn uncovers the process and nuances of learning nihon buyo, a traditional Japanese dance form. She uses case studies of dancers at all levels, as well as her own firsthand experiences, to investigate the complex language of bodies, especially across cultural divides. Paying particular attention to the effect of body-to-body transmission, and how culturally constructed processes of transmission influence our sense of self, Hahn argues that the senses facilitate the construction of “boundaries of existence” that define our physical and social worlds. In this flowing and personal text, Hahn reveals the ways in which culture shapes our attendance to various sensoria, and how our interpretation of sensory information shapes our individual realities. An included DVD provides visual examples.

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Table des matières

moving scenes history and social structure
unfolding essence energetic sensibilities and aesthetics
revealing lessons modes of transmission visual tactile oralaural media
transforming sensu presence and orientation
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Page 10 - Vulnerability doesn't mean that anything personal goes. The exposure of the self who is also a spectator has to take us somewhere we couldn't otherwise get to. It has to be essential to the argument, not a decorative flourish, not exposure for its own sake
Page 13 - ... write for other anthropologists, mostly Western. Identified also with communities outside the West, or subcultures within it, they are called to account by educated members of those communities. More importantly, not just because they position themselves with reference to two communities but because when they present the Other they are presenting themselves, they speak with a complex awareness of and investment in reception. Both halfie and feminist anthropologists are forced to confront squarely...
Page 18 - Orientalism proper) is that they confer on the other a discrete identity, while also providing the knowing observer with a standpoint from which to see without being seen, to read without interruption.
Page 13 - ... people whose national or cultural identity is mixed by virtue of migration, overseas education, or parentage.
Page 13 - ... an anthropologist cannot hide superficial understandings behind sweeping statements and is forced to present the grounds of understanding. Further, as Lila Abu-Lughod has argued in regard to what she calls "ethnographies of the particular," by writing in terms of "particular individuals and their changing relationships, one would necessarily subvert the most problematic connotations of culture: homogeneity, coherence, and timelessness
Page 13 - Insiders studying their own cultures offer new angles of vision and depths of understanding. Their accounts are empowered and restricted in unique ways.

À propos de l'auteur (2007)

TOMIE HAHN is an associate professor in the department of the arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. A performer and student of Japanese dance since the age of four, she has been awarded natori-- the professional stage title of Samie Tachibana--from the Tachibana School in Tokyo.

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