Getting Down, Feeling White? The Pedagogy of the Internet for Dancing Race

  • Jesse Phillips-Fein


Since the inception of online video-sharing platforms in the mid-2000s, dance has held a vibrant presence in cyberspace. This chapter investigates how the pedagogy of sharing and learning dances through the Internet affects the embodiment and racial performance of whiteness and blackness. The author argues that the “splayed-out sensorium” of digital enmeshment extends the reach of white bodies. It enables them to more easily overcome the dissonance of “feeling white” which can occur when learning dances that signify blackness. Simultaneously, Internet circulation can augment dance’s ability to form black collectivity and provide a platform for commentary to disrupt the reach of white bodies and the power of the white gaze.

Related Further Reading

  1. Ahmed, S. (2006). Queer phenomenology: Orientations, objects, others. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  2. DeFrantz, T. (2012). Unchecked popularity: Neoliberal circulations of black social dances. In L. D. Nielsen & P. A. Ybarra (Eds.), Neoliberalism and global theatres performance permutations (pp. 128–140). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  3. Dyer, R. (1997). White. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Rymes, B. (2012). Recontextualizing YouTube: From macro—micro to mass-mediated communicative repertoires. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 43(2), 214–227.Google Scholar
  5. Sharpe, C. (2010). Monstrous intimacies: Making post-slavery subjects. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jesse Phillips-Fein
    • 1
  1. 1.Brooklyn Friends SchoolBrooklynUSA

Personalised recommendations