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Wendy Bolitho

Doctor of Philosophy, (Sociology)
Study Completed: 2011
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Silent Invocations: Music, Sublimation and Social Transformation

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Applying a wide range of musical experience to the close reading of Jacques Lacan’s Seminars and writings, Ms Bolitho’s thesis makes the case that ‘music’ – understood as a performative and creative trans-subjective act of structuring sound – constitutes an alternative form of artistic ‘writing practice’. As a social-cultural process analogous to psychoanalysis, musical improvisation and composition offer a constructive model that allows an expansion of Lacan’s concept of artistic sublimation. Following Jacques Attali’s suggestion that our intention is ''not only to theorise about music, but through music'', Ms Bolitho’s research suggests that musical paradigms of understanding embrace the dynamic flux of human relationality, and that music-making – as a cultural practice – enables a reconsideration of artistic sublimation and its potential as a site for social transformation.

Dr Warwick Tie
Associate Professor Jenny Lawn

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