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Listening for a Life: A Dialogic Ethnography of Bessie Eldreth Through Her Songs and Storiesby Patricia Sawin
Synopses & Reviews
In one sense a folklorist's portrayal of a notable folk artist's life and art, Listening for a Life is equally a rethinking of the processes involved in such work, not only in how the folklorist conveys her subject but in how her subject constitutes and performs herself into being through dialogue with others: those present, those once present, those imagined and anticipated.
Drawing on Bahktinian and feminist theory, Sawin pushes forward our understanding of the interactive roles of ethnographer and subject and in the process gives us a deeper understanding of folk singer and storyteller Bessie Eldreth and her greatest art, herself.
Book News Annotation:
Sawin (anthropology, U. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) applies Bahktinian and feminist theory to the work of traditional North Carolina singer and storyteller Eldreth (b. 1913). Her topics include dialogism and subjectivity, complex accounts of a simple childhood, development as an empowered speaker, negotiating gender and power in ghost stories, and practical joking as a problematic vehicle for oppositional self-definition.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Drawing on Bahktinian and feminist theory, Sawin advances our understanding of the interactive roles of ethnographer and subject and thereby gives us a deeper understanding of folk singer and storyteller Bessie Eldreth.
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Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Folk » Biographies