The 2005 Lotus World Music and Arts Festival: Processes of Production and the Construction of Spatial Liminality

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[Bloomington, Ind.] : Indiana University
The dissertation explores the role of space in the production and perception of meaning in the cultural performance genre of festival, using a case-study approach centered on the production of the 2005 Lotus World Music and Arts Festival in Bloomington, Indiana. The study expands the notion of "festival" far beyond the four days of its enactment and encompasses the festival's year-long production process, one significant element of which is how producers conceive and manipulate space to mobilize a "global" festival within a local geography. Drawing on data gathered via ethnographic methods such as interview and participant-observation, the dissertation analyzes the ways in which spatial considerations play into production decisions and become essential components of a uniquely "festivalized" and liminal participant experience. This study emphasizes space as an actor and prioritizes the affective role of space vis-à-vis the construction of meaning in festival contexts, and its conclusions examine how festival producers use spatial transformations, inversions, and juxtapositions to create powerful loci of ambiguity and symbolic tension.
Thesis (PhD) - Indiana University, Folklore and Ethnomusicology, 2006
production process, festival, space, place, Indiana, world music
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Doctoral Dissertation