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Title: Corporeal pun : translations of the dancing body in Taiwanese popular culture
Author: Liu, Chih-Chieh
ISNI:       0000 0004 2706 6069
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2011
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With the advance of digital networks, music video has experienced a ‘tremendous explosion’ across national and medial boundaries (Beebe and Middleton, 2007, p. 3). Arising from this newly-emerging phenomenon, this thesis focuses on East Asian mediascapes, with a special attention to Taiwan, on the transference, (re)production and mutation of the dancing body in the music video. Centring on two major modes of production in Mandarin pop - ‘cuteness’ and ‘sexiness’ - I analyse these widely-known, yet little-studied, corporealities in both mass-mediated and vernacular contexts, pivoting on three dance stars, Coco, Cyndi and Jolin. I argue that these seemingly superficial and self-evident bodies are intrinsically ambiguous and complex, constantly being ‘translated’ by different social agents in transnational/intermedial fields, creating a body with various layers of meaning, i.e. a ‘punned’ corporeality. Drawing upon contemporary dance studies, gender theories, semiotics and linguistic theories on the pun, an interdisciplinary framework is formulated to explore a wide range of publicly-available data with special attention to music video analysis. Detailed studies of Coco, Cyndi and Jolin, their ‘fan’ videos and a talent show in between these two events demonstrate the existence of a major cultural force - punning translation - through which the dancing body is displaced in music video, impelling the body into a punned configuration. Reading these bodies as events of translation, I analyse the cultural logics and corporeal mechanisms - the logic of exchange -embedded in these transnational / translational bodily acts to argue for an extra layer of the global cultural landscape, a corporeal scape, whose seemingly contradictory function is a force through which local and regional histories are propelled.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available