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Dance and gender in focus in new anthology

News: May 18, 2018

Based on performances by the independent dance group Rubicon, Astrid von Rosen at CCHS, together with visiting researchers Monica Sand and Marsha Meskimmon, tests feminist theories and methods within heritage studies. The result of their research is included as a chapter in the newly published anthology Gender and Heritage: Performance, Place and Politics.

It was during the ACHS conference in Canberra 2014 that Astrid von Rosen and her co-writers realized that cultural heritage studies would benefit from new feminist approaches to art and its archives. They all agreed to contribute to making cultural heritage studies more “critical” by way of forging gender as an ambitious and prominent focus of the area.

The outcome of that discussion is now found as a chapter in the recently published anthology Gender and Heritage. The anthology is a collection of case studies, models and assessment which is aiming to show that gender is increasingly important to heritage studies.

Astrid von Rosen and her co-writers explored archival traces from the independent dance group Rubicon from Gothenburg to test feminist theories and methods of space, memory and intersectional agency. In the 1980’s, the dance group would perform in public places in in Gothenburg and this was used as a case study.

– For example, we used "walking" as a method of investigating how bodies interact with the city's spaces and layers of history, in a context that is politically charged. Thus, the project was not about reconstructing Rubicon's dance work, but via re-enactment gaining knowledge of their critical practice, where dance art, performed by many women and some men, took the city and led to a breakthrough for independent dance that had a relatively lasting impact for that field, says Astrid von Rosen.

She is now hoping that the research can be used in education and research which focus on gender and cultural heritage.

– I like the anthology because it combines ambitious theoretical thinking with very concrete and different approaches - it's really useful! We hope that our feminist-inspired methodologies can be used by researchers and students to investigate cultural heritage where bodies (human and other bodies) interact with different environments.

– We will also use the chapter as the starting point for a workshop here in Gothenburg this autumn, and it may provide further ideas on how we can use it, says Astrid von Rosen.

Astrid von Rosen is an associate professor in Art History and Visual Studies at the Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg and on the Leadership committee of Centre for Critical Heritage Studies (CCHS).

Read more:

Link to the publication: https://www.routledge.com/Gender-and-Heritage-Performance-Place-and-Politics/Grahn-Wilson/p/book/9781138208148

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Page Manager: Jenny Högström Berntson|Last update: 2/26/2018
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