The Politics of Participation in Dance Ethnography

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


In dance anthropology, it is often taken for granted that the researcher has practical experience of the dance(s) that they study, although this dance experience may or may not be made explicit in research writings (see Ness 2004). In any case, theories of embodiment as well as the experiential and multisensory nature of fieldwork have become central themes in ethnographic research in general (e.g. Howes 2005) and in dance ethnography in particular (e.g. Hahn 2007).

In my paper, I will revisit questions relating to participation as a fieldwork method in dance ethnography: What is the value of participation for the research? How do the experiences of dancing inform ethnographic writing? What if participation is not possible or not allowed? I will examine writings on this topic and reflect on my own fieldwork experiences in order to investigate the politics of this ideal of participation both in the field and in the academic world.
Period12 Jun 2019
Event titlePractice, Participation & Politics: 14th International NOFOD Conference
Event typeConference
LocationHelsinki, FinlandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational