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Dis-Orient Express: belly dancing, hybrid identities and female oriental ‘other’

Husanovic, E. (2017) Dis-Orient Express: belly dancing, hybrid identities and female oriental ‘other’. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Positioning the female Oriental ‘Other’ as the speaker and the agent of the discourse on belly dancing, rather than solely the object of a Western male gaze, this thesis investigates the politics of cultural difference through the prism of belly dancing. My practice as research approach combines the voices of other belly dancers interviewed along the route of Orient Express, the analysis of my creative strategies in the research performance Dis-Orient Express as well as the perspectives in post-colonial and feminist theory. My thesis combines the analysis of my performance strategies, the findings from the field research, and relevant critical perspectives, to investigate the potential of a creative counter-narrative to subvert the fixed categories of the orientalist discourse. Chapter One maps out the context of my multi-disciplinary methodology encompassing performance art practice, auto-ethnography, empirical research and critical reflection drawn from the post-colonial and feminist theory. Chapter Two develops the analysis of artistic counter-narratives by engaging in three case studies from Europe and Istanbul, drawn from the field research of belly dancers along the route of the Orient Express in 2012. Chapter Three analyses this performance by tracing the creative attempt at collaborative remapping of the concepts of ‘Orient’, ‘Europe’ and feminine Oriental Other, and my use of the myth of Persephone to convey issues of exile and violence that lie at the margins of belly dancing politics. Chapter Four develops the analysis of creative counter-narrative enacted from the position of hybrid identity. Conclusion highlights the question of how the fantasies and fears of the Other are currently replayed in the climate of increasing polarisation of the debate on European/British identity and the ‘immigrant’ Oriental Other, acknowledging the importance of a deeper analysis of these processes for a future study

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Murjas, T. and Taylor, L.
Thesis/Report Department:Department of Film, Theatre & Television
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:77732
Date on Title Page:2016
Additional Information:Contents of appendices V, VI & VII are not available to download from CentAUR


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