COMP 360
The Body as Book: Memory and Reenactment in Dance & Theater Spring 2015
Division I
Cross-listed THEA 360 / DANC 303 / COMP 360
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

What does it mean to conceive of the body as a book? This unique interdisciplinary studio/seminar course examines how dance and theater channel, preserve and transmit stories and cultural memory through individual and collective bodies. Dance and theater are traditionally defined as ephemeral arts, bounded by the limits of linear time and space. Yet, as Rebecca Schneider writes, “time is decidedly folded and fraught.” Repetition and reenactment are forms of remembering, and performance is often not what disappears but what remains.How do we pass on knowledge in visceral and affective ways? What is a “repertoire”? What are the benefits and risks of continuity over time? Taught as part of the Books Unbound curricular initiative, and in conjunction with the opening of the Sawyer-Stetson Library, the course will complete a project in which the class “embodies” material, first by exploring stories embodied by individual members of the class, and then by translating them through performance by the collective, culminating in dance/theatre pieces performed in the new library. Over the term, we will also study modern and contemporary American artists, such as: Martha Graham, The Wooster Group, Alvin Ailey, Meredith Monk, Anne Bogart, Ralph Lemon, Elevator Repair Service, Bill T. Jones, Marina Abramovic, José Limon, and Suzan-Lori Parks. We will also collaborate with professional artists invited to Williams to create and present dance and theater pieces in the new library.
The Class: Format: studio/seminar
Limit: 14
Expected: 10
Class#: 3776
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on collaborative-based project work, individual research, writing and final performances
Prerequisites: no prior dance or theatre training is required
Enrollment Preferences: students majoring in Dance, Theatre, American Studies and Art
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
THEA 360 Division I DANC 303 Division I COMP 360 Division I

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