Performing the Nation - With CD / Edition 1

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Overview

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 nation-building and interpersonal power dynamics.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226029818
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Series: Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 1,331,575
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kelly Askew is an assistant professor of anthropology and of Afroamerican and African studies at the University of Michigan. She is the coeditor of The Anthropology of Media: A Reader and associate producer of the four-part documentary series Rhythms from Africa.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
List of Common Abbreviations
1. Arts of Governance
2. Tanga, Tanganyika, Tanzania
3. Of Ginger Ale and Orange Soda
4. Weighty Measures, Significant Glances: Taarab Performance and the Constitution of Social Relations
5. Cultural Revolution in Tanzania?
6. Competing Agendas: The Production of Tanzanian National Culture
7. Of Mwanyas and Multipartyism: Taarab Performance and the Tanzanian State
8. Conclusion: Cultural Policy by and for the People
Appendix A: Song Texts and Translations
Appendix B: Poem from Tanga Technical School
Appendix C: Notes on the Accompanying CD
Notes
Glossary of Swahili Terms
References
Discography
Song Index
General Index

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