Dread Bodies: Doubles, Echoes and the Skins of Sound

Henriques, Julian F.. 2014. Dread Bodies: Doubles, Echoes and the Skins of Sound. Small Axe(44), pp. 191-201. [Article]

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Dread bodies are very much alive; they move, they feel; they also sing and dance. Is this so-called “natural rhythm”? The phrase certainly pushes ideological buttons. Rhythm is indeed important for understanding the inflected nature of our embodiment. This is what is explored in what follows, through the specific setting and particular culture of the reggae dancehall session. Dread bodies are the subjects of resistance, rebellion, revolution, revolt and maroonage. The figures of dread include, Paul Bogle, Django, Mandingo, Toussaint L'Ouverture and Queen Nanny, as one all-powerful female dread body, though the only one given any attention here is the Ruddie or Rude Boy. This line of travel has been provoked by the generous and thoughtful remarks Tavia Nyong’o makes above. Thanks to these I will proceed with this short vivisection, so to say, of the dread body.

see also
Book Discussion: Julian Henriques, Sonic Bodies: Reggae Sound Systems, Performance Techniques, and Ways of Knowing; Alexander Weheliye, Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity, Afro-philo-sonic Fictions: Black Sound Studies after the Millennium
Tavia Nyong’o, Engendering Phonographies: Sonic Technologies of Blackness
Alexander Weheliye, Small Axe, 44, July 2014, pp 173 -190

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies > Topology Research Unit


July 2014Published

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Date Deposited:

13 Oct 2014 10:26

Last Modified:

21 Aug 2019 09:54

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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