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WGSS 267
Performance Studies: An Introduction Spring 2020
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed DANC 267 / WGSS 267 / THEA 267 / COMP 267

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Since the 1980s, performance studies has emerged as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, with origin tales in theater and anthropology, in communications and philosophy. What might theorizing “performance” as mode, analytic, and object of study have to offer scholarship in the interdisciplinary humanities? In this seminar, we will read texts formative of performance studies, paired with multimedia performance examples, where performance speaks to staged theatrics as well as the presentation of everyday life. We will ask, how are race, gender, sexuality, and nation produced as the effects of legal, political, historical, social, and cultural scripts? And–an important partner question–how do discourses and practices of race, gender, sexuality, and nation in fact produce legal, political, historical, social, and cultural effects? This seminar is an introduction to performance studies, an interdisciplinary field in conversation with theater studies, gender studies, anthropology, philosophy, literary theory, visual studies, dance studies, ethnic studies, queer theory, and postcolonial studies. Students will study and experiment with performance while reading theoretical texts to grapple with concepts including ritual, restored behavior, performativity, mimicry, liveness, the body, objecthood, archive, movement, matter, and affect.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 20
Expected: 15
Class#: 3071
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: reflection papers, performance analysis, final paper or performance
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Comparative Literature majors
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
DANC 267 Division I WGSS 267 Division II THEA 267 Division I COMP 267 Division I
DPE Notes: This course tracks performance studies' engagement with feminist, queer, post-colonial, and critical ethnic studies scholarship, equipping students with tools and concepts with which to analyze power, difference, and equity.
Attributes: WGSS Theory Courses

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