Shay Welch

Apr 29, 2020

The Phenomenology of a Performative Knowledge System

Dancing with Native American Epistemology

Palgrave Macmillan 2019

In The Phenomenology of a Performative Knowledge System: Dancing with Native American Epistemology (Palgrave Macmillian, 2019), Shay Welch investigates the phenomenological ways that dance choreographing and dance performance exemplify both Truth and meaning-making within Native American epistemology, from an analytic philosophical perspective. Given that within Native American communities dance is regarded both as an integral cultural conduit and “a doorway to a powerful wisdom,” Welch argues that dance and dancing can both create and communicate knowledge. She explains that dance―as a form of oral, narrative storytelling―has the power to communicate knowledge of beliefs and histories, and that dance is a form of embodied narrative storytelling. Welch provides analytic clarity on how this happens, what conditions are required for it to succeed, and how dance can satisfy the relational and ethical facets of Native epistemology.

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Alexus McLeod

Alexus McLeod is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Asian/Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut.

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