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The course aims to explore dance and movement-based performances as mediums through which identities in Asian and Asian-American (including South-Asian) communities are cultivated, expressed, and contested. It will orient students towards “reading” and analyzing live and mediated performances within historical, social, and political frameworks. Students will explore how socio-historical contexts influence the processes through which dance performances are invested with particular sets of meanings, and how artists use performance to reinforce or resist stereotypical representations. Core readings will be drawn from Dance, Performance, Asian, and Asian American Studies, and will engage with issues such as nation formation, race and ethnicity, appropriation, tradition and innovation among other topics. This is primarily a discussion-based seminar course, and might also include film screenings, discussion with guest artists and scholars, and opportunities for creative projects. No previous dance experience is required.
Format: seminar; This course will be taught in a virtual format and will be remote.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
reading responses, essays, in-class writing assignments, class participation, and group presentations.
first years and sophomores
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
This course introduces students to the role of performance in nation formation in Asia and the history of Asian-Americans in the US through analysis of dance performances and practices. Student will explore how race was central to the formation of Asian and the American nation, and how social and legal discriminatory practices against minorities influenced popular culture. The assigned material provide examples of how artists address these inequalities and differences in social power.