How can we capture the “liveness” of dance and performance through writing? How can the spoken and written word promote a deeper understanding of felt emotions expressed through embodied practice? In this course, we will explore different modes of writing about performance such as fiction, ethnography, and performative writing. The course material will primarily focus on books by artist-scholars of color with the aim of engaging with both the politics of identity in performance and also the politics of texts and archives. Each of the texts we encounter will be paired with visual materials and/or virtual conversation with artist-scholars to encourage a multilayered experience with writing about performance. Besides engaging deeply with the selected monographs, we will practice skills related to writing creatively and analytically about movement-based performance.
This class will be held remotely and will include a combination of tutorial-like small group meetings, periodic synchronous sessions, and asynchronous work such as Glow posts or recorded lectures. The course is reading and writing intensive, and oriented towards juniors, seniors, and those with deep interest in analytical and creative writing. Students will (i) read several monographs during the semester, (ii) participate in discussions about course materials, (iii) produce creative and critical writing (at least 5-6 pages every two weeks and a final cumulative assignment), and (iv) engage in the revision process of their own work and that of their peers based on feedback from the professor and from writing partners.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Each student will write three 5- to 6- page papers on which professor and peers will provide critical feedback on content, style, and grammar. Students will also revise the papers and meet with the professor to discuss the revision process. As the final assignment, students will select one of the three papers to develop into a longer essay, which will be 10-15 pages.
Junior and Seniors, and those with specific interest in performance, creative, and analytical writing. Prior dance or performance experience not required.
Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
Each student will write three 5- to 6- page papers on which the professor and peers will provide critical feedback on content, style, and grammar. After each cycle of feedback, students will submit a revision, and will have an individual meeting with the professor to discuss the revision process and the revised paper. As the final assignment, students will select one of the three papers to develop into a longer essay, which will be 10-15 pages.
The monographs which anchor the course engage with the politics of identity as it manifests in both staged and in everyday performances. The introductory points of exploration and the objects of analysis in the course are bodies in motion. So, our inquiry throughout the semester will necessarily include how bodies "make meaning" in a network of power relationships within the context of historical associations to markers of race, class, gender, sexuality, and socially constructed differences.