Performing the Nation: Swahili Music and Cultural Politics in Tanzania - Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology (Hardback)
  • Performing the Nation: Swahili Music and Cultural Politics in Tanzania - Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology (Hardback)
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Performing the Nation: Swahili Music and Cultural Politics in Tanzania - Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology (Hardback)

(author)
£85.50
Hardback 392 Pages / Published: 05/09/2007
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Since its founding in 1964, the United Republic of Tanzania has used music, dance, and other cultural productions as ways of imagining and legitimizing the new nation. Focusing on the politics surrounding Swahili musical performance, Kelly Askew demonstrates the crucial role of popular culture in Tanzania's colonial and postcolonial history. As Askew shows, the genres of ngoma (traditional dance), dansi (urban jazz), and taarab (sung Swahili poetry) have played prominent parts in official articulations of "Tanzanian National Culture" over the years. Drawing on over a decade of research, including extensive experience as a taarab and dansi performer, Askew explores the intimate relations among musical practice, political ideology, and economic change. She reveals the processes and agents involved in the creation of Tanzania's national culture, from government elites to local musicians, poets, wedding participants, and traffic police. Throughout, Askew focuses on performance itself - musical and otherwise - as key to understanding both state formation and interpersonal power dynamics.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226029801
Number of pages: 392
Weight: 738 g
Dimensions: 235 x 161 x 29 mm
Edition: 2nd ed.


MEDIA REVIEWS
Askew has given us a richly detailed and engaging study of cultural politics in Tanzania during its transition from socialism to multipartyism. . . . A thought-provoking study of how culture in a postcolonial state is produced, contested, and appropriated. Askew is at her best when she analyzes the multilayered and often contradictory policies of a bureaucracy seeking simultaneously to promote both socialist values and African cultural authenticity.
--Thomas Burgess "International Journal of African Historical Studies ""
"Askew has given us a richly detailed and engaging study of cultural politics in Tanzania during its transition from socialism to multipartyism. . . . A thought-provoking study of how culture in a postcolonial state is produced, contested, and appropriated. Askew is at her best when she analyzes the multilayered and often contradictory policies of a bureaucracy seeking simultaneously to promote both socialist values and African cultural authenticity."
--Thomas Burgess "International Journal of African Historical Studies "
"One of the best ethnomusicological monographs to emerge in recent years. From the very design of the study to the smallest articulated detail, it stands as a testament to the power of expressive culture as an object of anthropological inquiry. . . . Performing the Nation is not only a fine work of ethnomusicology but a weighty contribution to the ethnographic study of the nation-state."--Andrew Eisebnberg "Current Musicology "

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