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Implications of Visual Anthropology for Dance Studies

  • The Korean Journal of Dance Studies
  • Abbr : KRSDS
  • 2014, 51(6), pp.25-47
  • DOI : 10.16877/kjds.51.6.201411.25
  • Publisher : The Korean Society for Dance Studies
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Dance
  • Received : October 15, 2014
  • Accepted : November 4, 2014

Jeong, Ok Hee 1

1성균관대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Problematizing the meager discourse of visual media and the visual within dance scholarship, this research aims to present a general introduction to visual anthropology and to suggest its implications for the benefit of dance studies. Introducing its general history and characteristics, I trace how visual anthropology has departed from the naive realism and positivism to more reflexive and participatory mode of inquiry. The observation that visual anthropological attempts in dance scholarship is much more limited than those in anthropology provokes the main question: Why, while undergoing the same postmodern shift with anthropology, did dance studies pay little interest in visual media? I argue that universalism on body and seeing, as well as dance’s alleged ephemerality and its contingent focus on preservation discourseprevented the healthy discussion and exploration on visual media. Refuting both, I examine the possibilities and threats of reflexivity, the core of postmodern visual anthropology.

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