ENGL 317 Black Migrations: African American Performance at Home and Abroad

Last offered Spring 2014

Cross Listed as DANC317, COMP319, AFR317, AMST317, THEA317
In this course, students will investigate, critique and define the concepts migration and diaspora with primary attention to the experiences of African Americans in the United States and Europe. Drawing on a broad definition of performance, students will explore everything from writing and painting to sports and dance to inquire how performance reflects, critiques and negotiates migratory experiences in the African diaspora. For example, how did musician Sidney Bechet's migration from New Orleans to Chicago to London influence the early jazz era? How did Katherine Dunham's dance performances in Germany help her shape a new black dance aesthetic? Why did writer James Baldwin go all the way to Switzerland to write his first novel on black, religious culture in Harlem? What drew actor/singer Paul Robeson to Russia, and why did the U.S. revoke his passport in response to his speeches abroad? These questions will lead students to investigate multiple migrations in the African diasporic experience and aid our exploration of the reasons for migration throughout history and geography.
Class Format: seminar/discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based upon class participation, one 5- to 7-page paper analyzing a performance/text, student-led class facilitation, final performance/ presentation
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Prerequisites: none; open to all
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Distribution Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AFR or AMST; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP, DANC, ENGL or THEA
Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: AFR Core Electives,AMST Arts in Context Electives,AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora
Enrollment Limit: 15
Expected Enrollment: 10
Class Number: 3098
ENGL 317 SEM African American Performance Division 2: Social Studies Rashida K. Braggs
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