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Rethinking the Festival: Power and Politics

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AbstractThis article discusses several recent approaches to the study of festivals and points out in which ways certain theories of power can be fruitfully applied to better interpret both historical and contemporary festivals. The structure of the text is tripartite: in the first part, I present a brief, critical history of the studies in order to construct a genealogy of the category of festival (and of its criticism); in the second part, I discuss certain major speculations on power and reflect upon their applicability to the study of festivals; in the third part, I present some case-studies and investigate the political dimensions of festivals by applying and problematizing, to selected examples, the theories discussed in the second part. Concepts as “power,” “hegemony,” “function,” “playground” and others are explored in their implications and (re)discussed in the attempt of both delineating different ranges of theoretical issues and developing new methodological attitudes.

Affiliations: 1: Facoltà di Scienze della Formazione, Università degli Studi di MessinaVia Concezione 6-8, 98122 MessinaItaliaalessandro.testa83@gmail.com

10.1163/15700682-12341260
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2014-02-05
2016-12-09

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