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Title: In the sea of memory : embodiment and agency in the black diaspora
Author: Bakare-Yusuf, Bibi
ISNI:       0000 0001 3440 7931
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2000
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DT Africa ; GN Anthropology