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May 23, 2006


Posted by dogpossum on May 23, 2006 7:07 PM in the category thesis

Ok, so I'm hitting another period of crazy productivity. Look out supervisor.

Today I finished off redraft5.2 of chapters 2 and 3. I had had some concerns about chapter 2, but I think I fixed it, even though it meant cutting out a sweeeeet section on the relationship between jazz and dance in the 20s and 30s.

That was really just a long-winded way of my describing the way improvisation is contained within social/community structures in African American vernacular culture. I'm using this as a way of describing how the introduction of new ideas and ideology and self-expression/representation ('difference') is managed by community/social/discursive structures in African American vernacular dance in a productive and creative way. In contrast, contemporary swing dance culture in Melbourne marginalises difference by discouraging improvisation, innovation and the representation of self by the emphasis on formal classes, rote-learning and routines. The bit I'm really interested in is how media figures in all this - how do AV media do this? How does DJing do this? And of course, what role do dance schools play in this? Finally, how does this sort of marginalising of difference work as a capitalist tactic, particularly in developing a market for commodified dance (ie classes)?

That's my thesis right there.

But I do take time out in each chapter to look at resistance to and transgression of this marginalisation of difference. In chapter 3 I look at how women might do feminist work in partner dancing by doing 'black' switches; leading; solo dancing. In chapter 4 I consider... well, I'm not sure yet. I'll get back to you. Anyhoo, I read this resistance as the utilisation of African American dance discourse themes/tactics/practices (eg improvisation) by contemporary swing dancers. Which is neat, because Af-Am dance was all about resistance, particularly in the pre-emancipation era and on into the 20s and 30s.

So it's all going nicely. Tomorrow I wrestle with chapter 4 (AV media), then I meet with the supes on Thursday. I'd actually like to leave that meeting til the following Thursday... I'll see what I can do.
Friday I will try to do chapter 5, but I don't know - I have to DJ on Thursday so who knows how productive I'll be on Friday. Anyway, I'll finish off chapters 5 and 6 by the end of next week. Hopefully I'll be able to go back through and make it all hang together. Chapters 2 and 3 are totally tight - the bestest best friends. Who knows what 4, 5 and 6 are doing. And the conclusion? I doubt it's go anybody's back, at the moment. But I trust 1 is ok. Just rough-edged and not really smoothing the way for the rest of the homies.

The Squeeze dreads these periods of insane, obsessively-compulsive productivity. Mostly because they're followed by the inevitable crash as I wind myself tighter and tighter, tiring myself out with longer and longer hours. Hopefully I'll get through redraft 5.2 before then.

Posted by dogpossum on May 23, 2006 7:07 PM in the category thesis