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Three Imagined Dances: the somatics of early modern textual mediation

Drury, Lindsey (2019) Three Imagined Dances: the somatics of early modern textual mediation. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent, Freie Universität Berlin. (KAR id:77089)

Language: English
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This thesis addresses how historical narratives, ideas, and practices of dance are carried in the transference between books and bodies. To do its work, this thesis investigates the presence of dance in early modern book culture, seeking how such texts are not only representative of but also laden with the problems of body, sensory experience, and practice. Thus, this is a thesis that considers the infiltration and implication of bodies in early modern book culture; in it I reconsider what the body-based art of dance was doing on the early modern page. Framed as metaphor, as disease, as an ethical conundrum, as uncontainable joy, as lasciviousness, as indicative of cosmic balance, dance appears again and again within early modern texts as a means to discuss concerns with the body. Early modern writings on dance probe the embodied practice and sensual experience of dancing for its deeper connections to the world, the divine, to ethics, to health, and to questions of knowledge and sensorial experience. The constellation of writings herein investigated from the 15th and 16th centuries traverses early modern thought on mortality, faith, love, the erotic, antiquity, alchemy, and disease through their articulations of act of dancing, what it means and how it networks into the greater scheme of embodied praxis. Through these texts, this thesis further probes what the subject of dance did to book culture in the period in turn. My aim is to show how an intermedia history between the written word and the dance also speaks to the conditions of embodiment. Toward that end, this thesis unfolds a series of cases in which the writerly use of dancing and dancerly use of writing expose the mutual implication of writing and dancing as intertwined embodied and discursive practices. Together, writing and dancing have through relationship to one another defined and redefined the very idea of the experience of being in a body. The methods I employ in the thesis draw from the tradition of the microhistory and the capacity of microhistorical approaches to make use of the subtleties and difficulties in sources. Over the course of three chapters, the thesis considers three cases of writing on the dancing body interwoven as if by happenstance through their various associations with one particular Parisian family in the 16th century, their book publishing house on the Rue St Jacques, and their network of associated colleagues. Finally, each chapter approaches the relations between embodiment, dance, and book culture by considering how ideas on embodiment expressed through the description of dance in the book interacted with the bodily perspectives that arise from book culture: the readerly body, the protagonist's body, and the authorial body.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Vass-Rhee, Freya
Thesis advisor: Jarzebowski, Claudia
Uncontrolled keywords: dance, early modern studies, print culture, media studies, theories of embodiment, history of physical practice, history of somatics
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D203 Modern History, 1453-
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Funders: Organisations -1 not found.
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2019 08:10 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2022 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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