Graduate Course Description

350:589 - Race & Transnational Performance in the Americas

Course No: 350:589
Index # 14997
Distribution Requirement: B, C
Time: Thursday - 2:00 p.m.
Location: MU 207

Race & Transnational Performance In the Americas

Imani D. Owens

How might an analysis of performance lead us toward new epistemologies of race? This course explores contemporary criticism, archival sources, and multimedia materials in order to ask questions about race, gender, and the transnational politics of performance in the Americas. We will engage recent works in performance studies alongside poetry, fiction, video, sound, and live events. Topics will encompass US-Caribbean exchange, black women's vocality, translation, queer of color "disidentification," and eccentric race-blurring and gender-bending performances. We will consider writing and performance as interfacing mediums, not merely defined by influence but by mutual transformation. Our lens is decidedly transnational: we chart the ways that performance travels, buoyed by historical events, social movements, and developments in technology.

This course is appropriate for students with broad interests in interdisciplinary work, race, gender, embodiment, transnationalism, and performance aesthetics. Students are encouraged develop projects informed by their own areas of specialization.

Tentative Reading List

Colbert, Black Movements: Performance and Cultural Politics
Colbert, Vogel, Jones, Race and Performance after Repetition
Fiol-Matta, The Great Woman Singer: Gender and Voice in Puerto Rican Music
Henriques, Sonic Bodies: Reggae Sound Systems, Performance Techniques, and Ways of Knowing
Herrera, Latin Numbers: Playing Latino in 20th Century U.S. Popular Performance
McMillan, Embodied Avatars: Genealogies of Black Feminist Art and Performance
Vogel, Black Fad Performance and the Calypso Craze