The course aims to explore dance and movement-based performances as mediums through which identities in Asian-American (including South Asian) diasporas are cultivated, expressed, and contested. We will examine theories related to nationalism, post-colonialism and diasporic identity-formation, and learn about the socio-historical contexts in which performances are used to maintain cultural continuity. We will explore how diasporic artists use performances to enforce or resist traditional practices and ideologies. Throughout the course, we will investigate issues of race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, tradition/innovation, agency/resistance, and borrowing/appropriation among other topics. This is primarily a discussion-based seminar course but will also include attendance at live performances in the area, film screenings, and discussion and workshops with guest artists. No previous dance experience required.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
reading responses and essays, class participation, and presentations
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
This course introduces students to the history of Asian-Americans through an analysis of performances by diasporic artists. Student will explore how race was central to the formation of the American nation, and how social and legal discriminatory practices against people of color influenced US popular culture. The assigned course material provide examples of how diasporic artists address these differences in power relations, hold systems of inequality accountable, and claim agency.