In Ann R. David, Michael Huxley & Sarah Whatley (eds.), Dance Fields: Staking a claim for Dance Studies in the 21st century. Binsted, Hampshire: Dance Books. pp. 220-248 (forthcoming)

Helena Hammond
University of Roehampton
This chapter is particularly concerned with the status of history, dance history especially, within Dance Studies. It asks what has befallen the more recent status of history, once an epistemological support at a critical stage in Dance Studies’s early development, now that Dance Studies is better established, relatively speaking, within the academy. Is history so much scaffolding which, having fulfilled its purpose in enabling the disciplinary plant to take root, is to be dismantled and, if not actually discarded, at least demoted? Three factors will be identified and proposed as having particular significance in this connection, imbuing this chapter with a tri-partite structure. The first concerns the already noted strong imprint of Cultural Studies on Dance Studies and the possible bearing of this imprint on dance history’s status within Dance Studies. For the particular manner in which Dance Studies has construed Cultural Studies may, this chapter will suggest, have impacted upon dance history’s standing within communities of dance scholarship. The second factor has to do with the implications, for dance history, of a particular critique based in a branch of dance scholarship, that perceives phenomenology, which it deems a good fit for dance inquiry, as inherently antithetical to history. In particular, this critique takes the work of Michel Foucault - which it identifies closely with, and as, historical practice - as incompatible with dance enquiry. Incompatibility is staked on the twin grounds of Foucault’s break with, and supposed resulting and enduring antipathy towards, phenomenology; and his perceived embrace of history which is, itself, also understood to result from such a break. In effect, then, this critique questions the very suitability, for dance research, of approaches based in history-focussed inquiry. The ability to call this critique into question, in the ways that the present discussion, in seeking to rehabilitate Foucault, and so history, needs to demonstrate, constitutes the third factor. This final factor makes two particular, further demands of this chapter. Namely that the interrelated questions of Foucault, phenomenology, and dance; and of the position which phenomenology has itself adopted in relation to history, be re-visited and re-evaluated to the extent that space reasonably allows. Fortunately, these interrelated questions are ones which have - relatively recently - preoccupied scholarship on Foucault, and on phenomenology, respectively. This preoccupation may in and of itself be one possible indicator that there is indeed more at stake, and so to consider, regarding both questions, than the lines drawn by the aforementioned critique might suggest.
Keywords Michel Foucault  Stuart Hall  phenomenology  Edmund Husserl  Richard Shusterman  Cultural Studies  Dance  History  David Carr
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The Body in Husserl and Merleau-Ponty.Taylor Carman - 1999 - Philosophical Topics 27 (2):205-226.

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