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Title:In Search of Mother: The Libratory Effects of Performance Pedagogy in the Mothering Practices of Black Women
Author(s):Davis, Millicent G.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Parker, Laurence J.
Department / Program:Educational Policy Studies
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Abstract:In Search of Mother is an interdisciplinary project combining history, social theory, performance and spirituality. I search for the female power of mother by mining the history of Black women within Western cultural and political economy. I find Mother in the Africana female artists who use their cultural work to nurture, sustain and develop their communities and enhance human potential. I imagine an indigenous feminist performance methodology that I name as an Africana Feminist Performance Pedagogy. This methodology harnesses female power to the service of humanity. By linking these multiple identities: Black, mother, educator, performer and social activist, I have recovered cultural retentions that connect the work of Africana female cultural workers to the Yoruba the ritual performance of Efe/Gelede: a verbal, visual and kinesthetic feast in honor of the powerful Mothers. This work seeks to determine the efficacy of an Africana feminist performance pedagogy in the creation of counterpublics where inter- and intracultural dialog between Black mothers, cultural institutions, social science, and the state/policy makers can occur. This project is structured in three parts: (a) autoethnoethnographic historical analysis of the lived experiences of Black women using the women in my family, (b) the theoretical and methodological approaches to Black women's performance modes, and (c) an ethnographic study of 6 women who participated in a performance written by the author entitled, Emancipatory Acts . This project seeks to add to the discourse of Black women's history and culture, gender paradigms, and performance ethnographies, as well as performance as critical public pedagogy. While the ethnographic study is limited by the small number of participants, this project points to areas of future exploration, particularly in examining the potential of indigenous cultural performances to facilitate personal and collective agency and transform marginal communities.
Issue Date:2009
Description:346 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3362766
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2009

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