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THEA 301
Global Theatre and Performance Histories Fall 2020
Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed THEA 301 / COMP 303

Class Details

A survey of theatre and performance traditions from across the globe, from the classical period to roughly 1880. This course provides students with an overview of theatre’s many diverse histories, emphasizing its dual role as both an artistic and social practice. While attending to theatre’s formal and aesthetic aspects, we will at the same time focus on the relationship of performance practices to the legacies of state power, hegemony, imperialism, and colonialism in which they are historically embedded. Topics of inquiry may include: classical Greek and Roman theatre; dance/drama of pre-colonial Africa; Indian classical drama; pre-modern theatres of Japan; Medieval and Renaissance theatre in England; Pre-Columbian indigenous performance practices; French and Spanish court theatres; German nationalist theatre; nineteenth-century popular performance in the U.S.; and the rise of realist theatre in Scandinavia. Through close analysis and interpretation of primary sources, including encounters with archival sources housed in Chapin and WCMA and also available in digital form, students will practice and learn the skills of the theatre historian, applying them to their own creative and critical research projects. This course is required for Theatre majors and is a prerequisite for THEA 401.
The Class: Format: seminar; For Fall 2020, this course will be conducted in a hybrid fashion, with both synchronous and asynchronous components. For the remote component, students will view brief lectures and online video content, meet with one another in Zoom, engage with required readings on their own time, and complete brief assignments based on prompts. Synchronous class discussions (either in small groups or in a larger group) and experiences in the archives will be conducted either in Zoom or in a classroom setting.
Limit: 16
Expected: 8-10
Class#: 2744
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly writing and participation in discussions; a midterm "maker" or "critic" project; participation as a "discussion leader" for one class; and a final "maker" or "critic" project
Prerequisites: For theatre majors: THEA 101, 102, 103, or another 100-level theatre course. Students who are not Theatre majors are welcome into the class by permission of instructor. Please email Prof. Holzapfel at: [email protected]
Enrollment Preferences: Theatre majors
Distributions: Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
THEA 301 Division I COMP 303 Division I
DPE Notes: This course works to dismantle the ongoing bias in theatre studies that positions textual and literary forms of theatre in the globalized north as the principal (or in some cases only) sites of knowledge transfer, status, and value in our field. Instead, theatre and performance are approached as diverse and embodied forms of repertoire that must be analyzed in relation to the structures of social inequity and power in which they arise.

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