Bodies Politics: Nationalism and Spaces of Performance

Francine A’Ness, PhD, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Dartmouth College
Mary K. Coffey, PhD, Department of Art History, Dartmouth College

Proposal: In this working group we will take a historical look at institutional bodies of the State and assess the ways in which they have utilized embodied practices (performance) and conditioned public spaces to realize policy and ideals of the nation. Our discussion may include, but not be limited to: civic ceremony, theatre, festivals, museums, architecture, monuments, and mass media. We are especially interested in work that looks at the intersections between performance and institutionalized forms of nationalism. This could be how the State performs nationalism and creates citizens; how other kinds of institutions —transnational corporations, NGO’s—use performance to do the State’s work; or how artists, activists, and other groups engage state institutions and public space to contest these official performances with dissident or parodic practices of their own.