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Graduate Program: Theatre and Performance Studies
Courses & Seminars
Recent Graduate Seminars
Graduate Course Descriptions
American Theatre and Drama from the Colonial Era to 1890
Performance studies takes seriously that performance is a critical site of knowledge making: a mode of doing research, of engaging in critical analysis, and of staging theory. The field holds a wide conception of what performance can be, including national and global exhibitions of power, gestural practices, everyday stylings of the body, rituals, concert dance, and much more. As an interdisciplinary field, performance studies draws from and makes itself relevant to other academic disciplines such as theater, literature, dance, film, art, and music, as well as critical social theory, anthropology, and history.
Introduction to Graduate Research Methods
This course introduces students to different historiographical approaches to theatre research and invites them to begin the process of archival investigation. Required for all first-year graduate students.
Modern and Postmodern Dramatic Theory
This course examines major writings in dramatic criticism and the development of various literary, critical, and cultural theories as they relate to dramatic art and performance from 1875 to the present. Topics range include Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Structuralism, Feminism and Gender Studies, Postcolonialism, Cognitives Studies, Ecocriticism, and Affect Theory.
Performance Ethnography is a critical research method that takes seriously the role of the body as a central tool in ethically encountering others and can also function as an interpretative tool to translate research back into the world. Centering the body also means considering the ways the body is read in terms of race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, and how those differences elicit particular kinds of data. Taking fieldwork as performance, this method also considers the contingency, context, and aesthetics of interactions in the field and of quotidian life. In this class, students will lean of the emergence of performance ethnography; consider the ethics of ethnographic research; try on fieldwork, participant observation, interview, oral history; and explore ethnographies that center performance as method and object of analysis. Participants will locate a field site in the area to focus their study, and will produce both a final essay and performance based on their fieldwork.
Theatre and Performance in the Indigenous Americas
Too often the relationship between Native communities and theater has been one of caricature, farce, and inaccurate (and often painful) misrepresentations. The selection of performance texts in this course offer a rejoinder to this history with works authored by and written for Native and Indigenous communities. The course focuses on themes prevalent in Native histories and spaces, which includes but is not limited to topics about ancestral lands, religious and ritualistic practices, and the challenges of authenticity, blood quantum, settler-colonialism and racial representation. Importantly, this course approaches performance and identity through an intersectional framework, meaning we consider feminist, queer, two-spirit and Trans* Native identities as they inform and shape art making processes.
Theatre Pedagogy, Curriculum, and Professional Development
An introduction to the pedagogical theories, teaching practices and professional development skills necessary to expand career possibilities upon completing the PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies. Focus will be placed on both the study and practice of teaching strategies and tactics for making acquired skills legible to employers within and beyond the academy. Students will examine pedagogical trends, theories, and practices, with particular focus on teaching theatre in variety of contexts and to students from diverse backgrounds. Emphasis will be placed on creating, adapting, and justifying pedagogical strategies that employ the concepts discussed in course readings, lectures, and discussions.
Theoretical and Historical Development of Latinx Theatre
This course examines the emergence of Latino theatre and film as a potent creative and political force in the United States. Representative works by Latino playwrights, performance artists, and filmmakers will be discussed in light of issues such as labor and immigration, gender and sexuality, generation gaps in Latino culture, hybridized identities, interculturalism, and the United States' relationship with Latin American nations. Additionally we will explore emerging theorists and cultural critics who complicate the identity and aesthetics of Latinidad.
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