Jane Goodman- Staging Gender

Goodman, J. (2007). “Staging Gender”. In Berber Culture on the World Stage: From Village to Video.  Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Goodman examines Algerian cultural associations who use performances as “sites of heightened reflexivity” for critiquing the norms of gender specifically (167). The association sought to perform/model what new gender relationships might look like.

169- the first association president was a young female university study whose performance was closed down

171- “The stage itself helped to constitute the performance as sites where new gender relations could be tried out.”—“The chorus performance appears to have constituted such a disjunctive moment”.

174- “If the chorus represented an early attempt of the Amkan cultural association to address the question of gender, this enterprise was complicated by the fact that the initiative was controlled by men–from the initial vision to the organization of the performance to the details of staging, voice, and footing.”

The story of Hend aiding his sister Dehbia serves as an example of author, animator, principle. “By placing his sister on the village stage- one of the most controversail public setting of all- Hend implicitly positioned himself on a national stage, proclaiming his adhesion, however partial, to the contested principle of la mixite.” (175)

175- “The children’s dance, from this perspective, can be understood as a site where modernizing notions about gender equality were inflected and transformed in unexpected ways within local organizations of communication and performance.” Dehbia’s appearance countered prevailing gender ideologies.

“An Association for the 21st Century”

177- “the success of the association pivoted on establishing a new subject position for women–one in which they could take an active role in the association without being encumbered by ‘old mentalities’.”

180- Zahra had prepared a short presentation that if performed would spark a family controversy.

181- “Kamal was clearly only the animator…through his continuous references to Zahra as the author, he clearly displayed his discomfort with Zahra’s stance”. Her refusal to take up a new position within the culture anger Kamal because it didn’t help change gender norms.

183- Both women were critiqued for failing to embody-literally-the men’s vision.




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