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AMST 214
Performance Ethnography Fall 2019
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed DANC 214 / GBST 215 / THEA 215 / AMST 214 / ANTH 215

Class Details

The course aims to explore the theory, practice, and ethics of ethnographic research with a focus on dance, movement, and performance. Traditionally considered to be a method of research in anthropology, ethnography is the descriptive and analytical study of a particular community through fieldwork, where the researcher immerses herself in the culture of the people that she researches. In this course students will be introduced to (i) critical theory that grounds ethnography as a research methodology, (ii) readings in ethnographic studies of dance and performance practices from different parts of the world, and (iii) field research in the local community for their own ethnographic projects. This is primarily a discussion-based seminar course and may include fieldwork, attendance at live performances, film screenings, workshop with guest artists etc. No previous dance or performance experience is assumed or required.
The Class: Format: seminar; community-based field work
Limit: 15
Expected: 10
Class#: 1366
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, reading responses, fieldwork and field notes, short papers, and final essay
Prerequisites: none
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
DANC 214 Division I GBST 215 Division II THEA 215 Division I AMST 214 Division II ANTH 215 Division II
DPE Notes: This course focuses on ethnographic research with an emphasis on the ethics of doing ethnography in field sites and making performances based on that research. In fieldwork and performance work, there is a difference in social, cultural, and political (broadly conceived) power between researcher and interlocutors. In the course, students' critical analytical skills are developed for them to be self-reflective about these power differentials and to address issues of social inequality.

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