Review Of "Dance, Gender And Culture" Edited By H. Thomas

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This collection, edited by sociologist Helen Thomas, explores various ways dance can be seen as a vehicle for investigating gender and culture. It extends some of the concerns evident in two other recent works, Dance, Sex and Gender, by American anthropologist/dance scholar Judith Lynne Hanna (CH, Oct'88) and Women and Dance: Sylphs and Sirens, by British dance writer Christy Adair (CH, May'93). Thomas's volume includes the work of writers from various disciplines in an effort to suggest ways that dance can serve as a productive site for inter- and intradisciplinary cultural study. Thomas's stated intentions are to explore ways that dance and gender intersect within particular cultural contexts; to demonstrate that dance can provide a rich resource for other disciplines and that it can, as well, gain from analytic and investigative techniques developed by those disciplines; and, finally, to affirm that nondancers can contribute to substantive discourse regarding dance. Most of the contributors write from a British perpective; three are American. Many of the 13 articles call upon feminist discourse previously developed in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. One of the strengths of the book is the dialogue that emerges when these articles are read in tandem. Extensive footnotes and bibliographies contribute to the book's use as an aid to further discussion and additional research. Recommended for advanced undergraduates, pre-professionals, and up.


This work is freely available courtesy of Choice Reviews. The review has been reproduced in full in the abstract field.

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