Conferência Internacional // “Ritual transformation and the modulation of affect: maternal be-longing in Punu waterspirit dancing”

imgresConferência Internacional // “Ritual transformation and the modulation of affect: maternal be-longing in Punu waterspirit dancing” com Carine Plancke (University of Roehampton, UK) // 14 de dezembro, 18h // Sala Multiusos 1, Ed. 1, FCSH/NOVA. Info here.

Abstract. In rural Punu society (Congo-Brazzaville), song-dance rituals are held seasonally to inaugurate the villages’ collective fishing of the pools occupied by their tutelary spirit. Because this waterspirit is attached to the ruling matriclan of the village and guarantees the society’s well-being by ensuring numerous pregnancies, and also providing game and fish in abundance, the celebration entails therecognition of the nurturing, life-giving and sustaining power of the mother. By adopting Kapferer’s notion of virtuality it is suggested that, in these dance rituals, an imaginal space is created where the participants, during the performance and by way of its shifts between aesthetic media, come into contact with the life-flow, embodied by the waterspirits, and gradually adjust it. The emotional dimension of this transformation is explored and, more importantly, the way it is grounded in the working of affect. In song and dance, the intensity, generated in movement, resonates as affect and becomes rhythmically modulated. An example of a song, performed in a near ritual context, concretely shows how the circulation and adjustment of affective intensity, linking ritual and daily contexts, grounds the framing of feelings towards the spirit in terms of a maternal nurturing imagery.
Bionote. Carine Plancke gained her PhD in Ethnology and Social Anthropology from the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences in Paris (EHESS) and the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) and has been a Teaching and Research Fellow at the Universities of Nice and Clermont-Ferrand. Her research deals with the mainly female song and dance performances and rituals of rural Punu communities in Congo-Brazzaville. As a result of this research, a monograph has been published (2014, Presses Universitaires du Mirail) as well as numerous articles in international, peer-reviewed journals such as Africa, Journal of Religion in Africa, Social Analysis, Journal for Ritual Studies and Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Carine Plancke is currently a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Centre for Dance Research of the University of Roehampton.

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