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.
Format: seminar; community-based field work
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
class participation, reading responses, fieldwork and field notes, short papers, and final essay
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
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.