WGSS 269
Staging Race and Gender
Last Offered Fall 2018
Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed WGSS 269 / THEA 249 / ENGL 249
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

This course will examine the role of theatre in staging understandings of race in the United States, particularly where ideologies of race converge with ideologies of gender. We will begin with the minstrel show, the most popular form of live entertainment in the 19th century, and end with Marcus Gardley’s Black Odyssey, a 21st century production of a black man’s coming into consciousness amid violence and war as well as divine protection. We will consider the role of live visual media in producing, reifying, and challenging discourses of race and gender across various historical periods. Through our pairing of drama in text and film, we will interrogate how meaning around racialized bodies has been made through performance practices on the stage that inform everyday life. Dramatists will include Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, August Wilson, Langston Hughes, Ntozake Shange, Amiri Baraka, and Suzan-Lori Parks. In our attempt to locate and extend our notions of theatre in the contemporary era, we will explore episodes from such popular television series as Queen Sugar, This Is Us, Atlanta, and The Chi.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1974
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: four papers totaling at least 20 pages and in-class group performances
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam
Distributions: Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 269 Division I THEA 249 Division I ENGL 249 Division I
DPE Notes: This course will explore how race and gender have been constructed in the American theatre from the 19th century to the present. Students will develop skills for interrogating the performativity of race and gender, and achieve proficiency with these skills through critical response papers and short, in-class dramatizations that integrate theoretical perspectives on visual culture, performance, and gender and feminist studies.
Attributes: ENGL 200-level Gateway Courses

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