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Performing Satyabhāmā : text, context, memory and mimesis in Telugu-speaking South India

McGill University
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  • Satyabhāma (Hindu Mythology)
  • Archetypes In Literature.
  • Theater -- Religious Aspects -- Hinduism
  • Theater -- India
  • South
  • Religious Science


Hindu religious culture has a rich and long-standing performance tradition containing many genres and regional types that contribute significantly to an understanding of the living vitality of the religion. Because the field of religious studies has focused on texts, the assumption exists that these are primary, and performances based on them are mere enactments and therefore derivative. This thesis will challenge this common assumption by arguing that performances themselves can be constitutive events in which religious worldviews, social histories, and group and personal identities are created or re-negotiated. In this work, I examine the history of performance cultures (understood both as genres and the groups that develop and perform them) in the Telugu-speaking regions of South India from the sixteenth century to the present in order to elucidate the cross-fertilization among various performance spheres over time.

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