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Title: Post-Salvagism; Cultural interventions and cultural evolution in a traumatised community : dance in the Central West Bank
Author: Rowe, Nicholas
Awarding Body: The University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines how 19th Century social dance practices in Palestine have been transformed into 21st Century presentations of dance as a performed art in the Central West Bank An extensive ethnographic history of the local dance culture is collated from various perspectives and (in acknowledging the ongoing collective trauma experienced by the indigenous population during this period) analysed in terms of pre-salvage, salvage and post-salvage phases. This involves an examination of the impact of dominant socio-political paradigms on local dance practices, including European Imperialism, political Zionism, Islamic Reformism, Pan Arabism and Palestinian nationalism. Whilst the experienced community of the Central West Bank is acknowledged as continuously negotiating with various manifestations of an imagined community, this analysis considers how local dance products have not necessarily been limited by such definitions of identity. As the research aims to support (what has been identified here as) post-salvage dance production in the region through cultural interventions, the aesthetic principles and evolutionary processes of post-salvagism are examined and defined here as anti-hegemonic. This examination involves reflections on the author's own approaches to local dance interventions, conducted with dance groups in Ramallah and Al-Bireh from 2000- 2006. It also posits a theory of cultural evolution that contrasts with more ethnocentric notions of unilinear progress and development. This proposition includes an algorithm for the evolution of dance that suggests how the processes of learning, creating and evaluating dance can be seen as analogous to the Darwinian evolutionary processes of reproduction, adaptation and selection. In this sense, it considers how post-colonial (and particularly post-development) studies may benefit from applications of Richard Dawkins' (1976) meme theory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available