Singing Moses's Song: A Performance-Critical Analysis of Deuteronomy's Song of Moses

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Singing Moses's Song: A Performance-Critical Analysis of Deuteronomy's Song of Moses

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Title: Singing Moses's Song: A Performance-Critical Analysis of Deuteronomy's Song of Moses
Author: Stone, Keith Allen
Citation: Stone, Keith Allen. 2013. Singing Moses's Song: A Performance-Critical Analysis of Deuteronomy's Song of Moses. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: Starting from the observation that Deuteronomy commands a tradition of performing the Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32.1-43), in this dissertation I explore ways in which the performance of the Song contributes to Deuteronomy's educational program through an effect on those who perform the Song. In order to do so, I employ a performance-based approach that stresses the dynamic of re-enactment that operates in traditions of performance; I argue that performers of the Song are to be transformed as they re-enact not only the characters within the Song but also those who came before them in the history of the Song's performance, particularly YHWH and Moses, whom Deuteronomy depicts as that tradition's founders. In support of this thesis, I provide a close reading of the text of the Song (as preserved in Deuteronomy and as informed by Deuteronomy's account of its origins and subsequent history) that examines how the persona of the performer interacts with these re-enacted personas in the moment of performance. I also argue that the various composers of Deuteronomy themselves participated in the tradition of performing the Song, adducing examples from throughout the book in which certain elements originally found in the Song have been adopted, elaborated, acted out, or simply mimicked while being put to another use.
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11004891
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