Bodily Force and Rhetorical Function in the Afro-Brazilian Art Form of Capoeira
AuthorJuarez, Marissa Marie
feminist methods of the body
rhetorics of resistance
AdvisorLicona, Adela C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBodily Force and Rhetorical Function in the Afro-Brazilian Art Form of Capoeira examines how practitioners of capoeira, a dance-like martial art developed by African slaves in Brazil during the slave trade, enact forms of contestation, resistance, and accommodation through their performances, as well as how the practice of capoeira results in productions and interruptions of social and cultural hierarchies. Building upon historical research, interviews, and participant observations at a local capoeira site, I argue that the movements, gestures, and facial expressions that drive communicative performances between two or more practitioners elucidate intersections between rhetoric, performance, and the body. More specifically, I demonstrate that the capoeira body operates as a physical force that serves a variety of rhetorical functions, including intervening in social structures of dominance, performing identities, recording histories, establishing relational politics, and inviting self and communal transformation. Interrogating the art form's colonial past, I suggest that capoeira has the potential to teach anti-oppression practices and to serve as a locus of coalition building across multiple lines of difference.
Degree ProgramGraduate College