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Resisting the Universal: Black Dance, Aesthetics, and the Afterlives of Slavery

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Friday, October 25, 2019
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9:30 am - 11:00 am
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Thomas F. DeFrantz
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Join the Franklin Humanities Institute for its Friday morning series, tgiFHI! tgiFHI gives Duke faculty in the humanities, interpretative social sciences and arts the opportunity to present on their current research to interlocutors in their fields. A light breakfast will be served at 9am.

About the presentation:

Twenty-first century philosophies of African American dance emerge within the rhetorics of the afterlives of slavery: concerned with the possibilities of resistant space amid ever-expanding systems of white domination. African American dance arrives in relationship to a black commons; a creative space of potential deliverance produced through animated engagement with a continuity among musical and danced gesture. This essay explores afropessimism as an ontological ground for the production of Black dance, defined here as corporeal response to the historical fact of African American disavowal. A consideration of choreography by Ulysses Dove (1947-1996) offers theatrical example of resistant strains of Black expressivity within stage dance that speaks to Black American concerns of personhood, communal interaction, and spiritual wellness.

About the presenter: Thomas F. DeFrantz is Professor in the Program in Dance and of African and African American Studies. He directs SLIPPAGE@Duke: Performance|Culture|Technology, a group exploring emerging technology in live performance.

Contact: Sarah Rogers