THEA 246
Asian American Performance: Activism and Aesthetics Fall 2019
Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed AMST 249 / GBST 246 / THEA 246

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This seminar will explore contemporary Asian American plays, stand-up comedy, performance art, and spoken word with an eye to how artists ¿do¿ politics through their cultural labor. We will begin with a brief survey of images from popular media to identify legacies of Orientalism. From here we will move towards examining the ways in which Asian American artists from various eras subvert stereotypes and pursue projects of social justice. In watching performances and reading scripts, essays, and interviews, we will attend to narratives, acting methods, theatrical design, spectatorship, and the political economy of cultural production that shapes how Asian American artists make and show work. In addition, we will explore how artists stake political claims in the public sphere through teaching and community organizing.
The Class: Format: seminar; Seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 1988
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: 2 5-page critical essays, reading responses, class presentations, and active discussion participation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: sophomores and juniors
Distributions: Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AMST 249 Division II GBST 246 Division II THEA 246 Division I
DPE Notes: Course fosters critical engagement with artistic practices that seek to address the concerns of populations in the US who have historically had unequal access to resources and audiences for representing themselves and their political concerns. Students will ask questions about how Asian American artists address legacies of Orientalism, as well as how they facilitate community engagement and approach projects of social justice.

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