Swinging within the iron cage: Modernity, creativity, and embodied practice in American postsecondary jazz education

Eitan Wilf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this article, I seek to contribute to the anthropology of embodied practice by asking, what would embodied practical mastery that mandates constant differentiation look like, and what would be its cultural and social determinants? In doing so, I draw on ethnographic fieldwork I conducted in a postsecondary jazz school in the United States. Through an exploration of how jazz educators cope with the paradoxical task of training the body and liberating it, I inquire into the challenge of negotiating the tension between the two key modernist ideas of rationalized schooling and Romantic creativity in contemporary institutional contexts.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)563-582
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Ethnologist
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • USA
  • creativity
  • embodied practice
  • improvisation
  • jazz music
  • modernity
  • schooling

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