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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jeff Curtis
DANCE 120
Seattle Campus

Dance and the American Experience

Investigates shared, conflicting, and shifting notions of the "American experience" as expressed in 20/21st century American dance. Investigates real, imagined, and idealized portrayals of the American experience as enacted on the concert stage, in film, and on television. Engages students in critical discourse on issues of identity in American society. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

This course should challenge and enrich your understanding of what it means to be American. Students should see more clearly how the influences of diverse cultures have contributed to American culture. Topics will cover the Harlem Renaissance, Broadway musicals, the immigrant artist during World War II, punk-rock and postmodernism, and Hip-hop culture among many others. Students will understand how art, specifically dance, can represent cultural beliefs about race, class, and gender. Hopefully you will see yourself, your culture—whatever that may be—represented on the dance stage.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

This is an online course and relies on streaming media of documentaries and performances. There is no required text for this course. All reading and video materials will be accessed via links provided in each Unit.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites necessary.

Class assignments and grading

Assessment will be determined through discussion forums and online quizzes. A midterm and final will be held online.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jeff Curtis
Date: 09/21/2012