St. Vitus’s Women of Color: Dancing with Hegel

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In the first section of this essay, I offer a brief overview of Hegel’s dozen or so mentions of dance in his Lectures on Aesthetics, focusing on the tension between Hegel’s denigration of dance as an “imperfect art” and his characterization of dance as a potential threat to the other arts. In the second section, I turn to an insightful essay from Hans-Christian Lucas on Hegel’s “Anthropology,” focusing on his argument that the Anthropology’s crucial final sections threaten to undermine Hegel’s entire philosophy. And in the final section, I offer my own reading of the Anthropology, connecting the threads of my previous two sections. More specifically, I attempt to show that Hegel has in effect quarantined dance in what he terms “the dark regions” of madness in “The Feeling Soul.” Overall, I suggest that this quarantining is ultimately as problematic for Hegel as it has been for dance. Because without dance, complete with its associations with people disempowered in their embodiment, this crucial transitional section in the Anthropology remains burdened with a corporeal remainder that problematizes the entire system. Put simply, Hegel must – by his own logic – learn to dance gracefully with those he would rather shun.
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Archival date: 2019-09-23
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