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Daggering Inna Di Dancehall: Kierkegaard’s conceptualization of subjectivity and Nietzsche’s Dionysus in relation to Jamaican dance

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Thesis type
((Thesis)/(Dissertation)) Ph.D.
Date created
This thesis explores dance beyond entertainment, psychological, behavioural or cognitive theory; beyond conventional interpretations of performance, and beyond the disciplinary categories that tend to separate practices in contemporary Western culture. This is a study of “Daggering,” the Jamaican style of dancing marked by violence and raw sexual licentiousness inna di dancehall (in the dancehall)—a male-dominated dance space in Jamaica. The problem of daggering analyzed stems from the so-called “causes” of violence. Cultural theorists argue the violent situation in the dancehall and throughout Jamaica is related to the history of colonialism and slavery, poverty, the polarization of the country’s political parties, and politicians who first issued guns. Some philosophers argue the myth of ‘poverty’ is an illusion and world-historical logico¬mathematical thinking is delusional. Primary texts studied are: The Birth of Tragedy by Nietzsche, and the Concluding Unscientific Postscript by Kierkegaard. I am interested in the inseparability, the embeddedness of Dionysus in all the phenomena of life. The myth of Dionysus contains statements about society and the individual not easily accessible by purely objective techniques. Nietzsche writes: the invisible forces of nature, “through whose gestures and eyes all the joy and wisdom of ‘illusion,’ together with its beauty, speak to us.” Kierkegaard’s aesthetic philosophy of subjectivity challenges the myth of poverty. Thus, this thesis marks a connection between daggering, the myth of Dionysus, and subjectivity. The essential question asked: ‘what’ knowledge is of the most worth to transform the individual and a society in crisis? A philosophical methodology is used to analyze texts in relation to social issues and dance. I conclude ‘how’ to transform the individual and a society in crisis “an apolitical and passionately responsible subjectivity” is necessary.
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Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Senyshyn, Yaroslav
Thesis advisor: Francis, June
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