The Dance of Politics: Gender, Performance, and Democratization in Malawi

Front Cover
Temple University Press, Oct 7, 2011 - History - 263 pages

Election campaigns, political events, and national celebration days in Malawi usually feature groups of women who dance and perform songs of praise for politicians and political parties. These lively performances help to attract and energize throngs of prospective voters. However, as Lisa Gilman explains, “praise performing” is one of the only ways that women are allowed to participate in a male-dominated political system.

Although political performances by women are not unique to Malawi, the case in Malawi is complicated by the fact that until 1994 all Malawianwomen were required to perform on behalf of the long-reigning political party and its self-declared “President for Life,” Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda+. This is the first book to examine the present-day situation, where issues of gender, economics and politics collide in surprising ways. Along with its solid grounding in the relevant literature, The Dance of Politics draws strength from Gilman’s first-hand observations and her interviews with a range of participants in the political process, from dancers to politicians.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Gender Power and Performance
1
2 Dance and Nationalism in the Independence Movement
26
3 Dance and Social Control During Bandas Presidency
43
4 Dance the Transition to Multipartyism and Patronage
77
5 Power and Performance in Political Rallies
119
6 Why Do Women Dance?
149
7 Gendering Democracy
184
8 Gender at the Intersection of Politics Democratization and Tradition
205
Brief Timeline of Malawis Recent Political History
223
People Interviewed
225
Political Functions Attended and Referenced
229
Associated Multimedia Websites
231
References
233
Index
249
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Lisa Gilman is Assistant Professor in the English Department and Folklore Program at the University of Oregon.

Bibliographic information