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Title: Reclaiming remembrance : art, shame and commemoration : a study of the role of shame in commemorative acts performed by artists and writers from culturally-differentiated communities in London, from 1989 to 2004
Author: Dibosa, David
ISNI:       0000 0001 3423 7987
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2006
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As a means of addressing strategies of subjectification within culturally differentiated communities, Reclaiming Remembrance explores the relationship between shame and commemoration in late twentieth/early twenty-first century Britain. In doing so, the thesis emphasizes a consideration of death and commemoration as a key part of the engagement with cultural practices driven by sexual and racial politics. The work draws on Michel Foucault's elaboration of subjectification through discourse, using it as a theoretical starting point for formulating post-identitarian subjectifying strategies. Such strategies are discussed in an analysis of discourses of shame in relation to four case-studies. Each of the case-studies centres on commemorative events in which artists and writers commemorated prominent cultural figures whose deaths had taken place in circumstances that can be understood in terms of shame. The thesis elaborates 'shame' as 'a crisis of legitimacy'. The effects of such crises are explored in respect of the problems they posed for culturally differentiated communities in the generation of hagiographical images of prominent figures, such as: the photographer Rotimi Fani-Kayode; the Irish nationalist Roger Casement; the footballer Justin Fashanu; the writer Oscar Wilde. Specific problems are seen to have arisen in respect of the commemorative practices discussed in each of the case-studies. Such problems are identified as: apprehension, dispossession, doubt, embargoes, omissions and variance. The problems are explored in three key ways: first, in respect of the manner in which they impeded engagement with the commemorative practices discussed in the case-studies; secondly, as regards the mechanisms used to facilitate nuanced approaches to the material under consideration; thirdly, in relation to the means by which they provided the grounds for a reformulation of subjectifying strategies among culturally differentiated communities. In doing so, the hope is that this thesis will facilitate the development of post-identity politics in a direction that is productive of a wider range of possibilities for those engaged with struggles surrounding culturally differentiation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral