Date of Award

12-10-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

First Advisor

Tiffany King

Second Advisor

Julia Kubala

Third Advisor

Lia T. Bascomb

Abstract

This project explores how Black lesbian affectivity performed through dance, which includes gestures, comportment, expressions, etc., can provide a utopian framework of political and social organizing against white supremacist heteronormative hegemony. These affective performances create spaces of resistance within modern dance choreographies. These affective moments and performances demonstrate alternative forms of individual and collective existence in both the dance space and daily life. By examining the works of modern dancer Nora Chipaumire and the social justice dance theater ensemble, the Urban Bush Women, this project argues that Chipaumire and Urban Bush women use disidentification, affective performances, queer utopia and shapeshifting, in order to create different social and political realities. Finally, I argue that moments within these performances open themselves to a reading for “Black lesbian affective” performances that reject normative standards of identity.

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