THEA 228
Performance Practices of Global Youth Cultures Spring 2020
Division I
Cross-listed GBST 228 / THEA 228

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This course investigates how young people engage in a variety of performance practices to define social identities and reflect on critical issues. We begin by examining how scholars and media have defined “youth” by way of questioning assumptions about the inherent universality of this social category. We will then explore how young people have thought about and represented themselves. Taking seriously music, dance, fashion, and ritualized uses of public space (including in the virtual realm), we will explore examples of how youth have used performance practices to engage in political activism, subvert hegemonic norms, reconfigure urban geographies, and engage in critical identity politics. Our inquiry will include attention to how youth practices travel globally and adopt new localized political meanings, as well as the ways in which the subversive potential of performances can be subsumed by the normalizing mandates of global capital. Our work in class will be based upon readings, discussions, and audiovisual materials from various parts of the world. Throughout the semester students will turn an analytical eye towards their own practices and modes of consumption. For final projects students will engage in ethnographic research about specific youth cultures in the region and on the Williams campus.
The Class: Format: seminar; seminar course based on reading and discussion
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 4049
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: includes class discussions, self-reflexive presentations and papers, journal reflections, one 10-page paper based on original research with in-class presentation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: seniors and juniors
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GBST 228 Division II THEA 228 Division I

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