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WGSS 321
Feminist and Queer Performance at the Limit of Action Fall 2020
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed AMST 326 / THEA 322 / WGSS 321 / AFR 328

Class Details

What counts as feminist and queer activism? This course challenges what we dominantly understand as activism—key to the emergence of ethnic studies and feminist and queer theory. Moving away from political actions centered in these fields, such as strikes, protests, and boycotts, this course will turn to visual and performance art works by artists of color, who consider other forms of action that are not overtly visible, resistant, oppositional, agentive, militant, loud, liberatory, and documentable. Each week, we will examine a performance at the limit of action, including silence, sexual abjection, concealment, melancholia, and waiting, alongside issues related to race, gender, sexuality, labor, and migration among others. How might we approach and reconcile with performances that once again reify notions of racialized and gendered bodies as apolitical, passive, submissive, and compliant? Drawing on scholarship within black and women of color feminist criticism, queer of color critique, critical ethnic studies, and performance studies, this course will attune students to the role of aesthetics to interrogate and expand what we typically conceive of as activism, resistance, power, and survival from racialized, feminized, and queer positions.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 2788
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: WGSS majors and students with experience in American Studies or performance studies coursework
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AMST 326 Division II THEA 322 Division I WGSS 321 Division II AFR 328 Division II
DPE Notes: This course satisfies the DPE requirement as it explores difference, power, and equity by asking how racial, gendered, sexual, and class differences are produced, whose voices are centered and whose are excluded, and what forms of activism is valued over other forms.
Attributes: WGSS Theory Courses

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