Kanta A Kochhar
Examines performance in everyday life, dance, theater, community-based arts practices, and/or new media from a variety of perspectives. Considers how performances act as sites for the revisioning of identity, community, and cross-cultural exchange.
Performance Studies examines many types of performance—theatre, dance, music, martial arts, sports and examples from everyday life, such as cooking and teaching—through a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including sociology, anthropology, feminist studies, postcolonial studies, and disability studies. Performance is not separate from the culture at large; it is an integral part, and it often acts as a potent vehicle for the expression of cultural issues as well as a site for the revisioning of identity, community, and cross-cultural exchange. In this course, we will examine examples from the performance of everyday life, dance, theatre, community-based arts practices, multi-media works, and new media.
In general this course includes a combination of lecture, film, discussion, observation exercises, and workshop activities. The activities of each section will culminate in a short response paper that demonstrates a synthesis of questions regarding Performance Studies and its significance for that particular section topic. In addition to a midterm and final exam, other assignments will include a fieldwork exercise, attendance at a performance in your community, and a final project which integrates theory and practice in relationship to Performance Studies.
Student learning goals
1. To gain a broad-based understanding of different types of performances,
2. To understand what motivates individuals and/or groups of people to perform,
3. To understand how performance is a vehicle for communicating cultural values and positions through engagement in ritual, cross-cultural performance, performances of identity, performances of healing, performance that uses technology, and community-based practices,
4. To begin to articulate ways in which performance and everyday life intersect,
5. To contextualize contemporary interest in Performance Studies within a historical and theoretical frame, including seminal figures and important socio-historical moments,
6. To explore how Performance Studies engages in cultural and social critique, and
General method of instruction
In addition to lectures and films, this class format will also employ a variety of interactive moments, ranging from group and observation exercises to workshops and discussions.
Class assignments and grading
Distribution of Primary Course requirements: 1. Participation, includes short homework assignments on the reading: 30% 2. Response papers: 20% 3. Skill Building: 15% 4. Final Project: 20% 5. Final: 15%