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Title: Singing the South Downs Way : affect and performance in practice
Author: Bennett, Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 1490
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis explores folk singing from the perspective of performance studies. It investigates folk singing as an affective practice, learned from the archive and performed in context on a walk along the South Downs Way in May 2015. The thesis takes the 'affective turn' in performance studies and cultural geography as a conceptual starting point, and analyses how preparing for performance takes care of folk song as archival remains (Roms 2013), the dynamic between folk song, autobiography, and walks (Mock 2009), and how the relationship between footpaths and folk songs may be conceived through the notion of 'embodied acts of landscaping' (Lorimer 2005). Through reflection on the practices of performing songs from the archive that were collected in Sussex, and meeting other folk singers to learn songs that they associated with the Sussex landscape, this thesis considers how knowledge is produced 'with others, in movement, and through engagement with a material, sensory and social environment' (Pink 2009). Authoethnography is used as a methodological approach to explore the affective and emotional aspects of songs that may be passed in the oral tradition from person to person, and the experience of learning songs from a family repertoire. Additionally, autoethnography is used in order to count the body as an instrument of research, and investigate its relationship to other bodies (Longhurst et al 2008). Further, the challenges of investigating affect, embodiment and 'ways of moving, feeling, or performing in the past', in relation to biography and the archive, are explored through a 'small story' of the work of Sussex-based folk song collector Dorothy Marshall (Lorimer 2003). Analysing folk songs in the affective context of the archive and the landscape, this thesis engages with and contributes to scholarship on embodied intangible cultural heritage and ideas of affect, emotion, and feeling in contemporary performance theory; asking not what folk songs mean, but what folk songs do?
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Folk music ; Affect ; performance ; archive ; Women ; Autoethnography ; Sensory ethnography