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The subject of cultural memory, and of the body’s role in its creation and dissemination, is central to current academic debate, particularly in relation to performance. Viewed from a variety of theoretical positions, the actions of the meaning-bearing body in culture and its capacity to reproduce, challenge or modify existing formulations have been the focus of some of the most influential studies to emerge from the arts and humanities in the last two and a half decades.
The ten essays brought together in Performance, Embodiment and Cultural Memory address this subject from a unique diversity of perspectives, focusing on topics as varied as live art, puppetry, memorial practice, ‘cultural performance’ and dance. Dealing with issues ranging from modern nation building to the formation of diasporic identities, this volume collectively considers the ways in which the human soma functions as a canvas for cultural meaning, its forms and actions a mnemonics for constructions of a shared past. This volume is required reading for those interested in how bodies, both on stage and in everyday life, 'perform' meaning.
COLIN COUNSELL is Senior Lecturer in Theatre Studies and Performing Arts at London Metropolitan University (UK). He is the author of Signs of Performance (1996), co-editor (with Laurie Wolf) of Performance Analysis (2001), and editor of the ‘Classic Texts’ series of plays for Nick Hern Books.ROBERTA MOCK is Reader in Performance at the University of Plymouth (UK). She is the author of Jewish Women on Stage, Film and Television (2007), editor of Walking, Writing & Performance (2009), and series editor of the ‘Playtext’ series of performance writing for Intellect Books.
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