Advisory Faculty: Professors: BUCKY, D. EDWARDS**, EPPEL*, HOPPIN**, OCKMAN, DARROW, Coordinator. Associate Professors. CASSIDAY*, A. SHEPPARD. Assistant Professors: BEAN, Coordinator, BURTON, JOTTAR, KAGAYA, L. JOHNSON**, ROBSON. Lecturers: BROTHERS, DIGGS, JAFFE.
The Performance Studies Program provides an opportunity to inhabit an intellectual place where the making of artistic and cultural meaning intersects with critical reflection on those processes. The program has as its primary goal the bringing together of those students and faculty engaged in the creative arts, i.e., studio art, creative writing, dance, film and video, music, and theater with those departments that reflect in part on those activities, e.g., Anthropology and Sociology, Art History, Classics, foreign languages, Comparative Literature, English, History, Music, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion and Theater. The central ideas which performance studies confronts-action, body, frame, representation, race, ethnicity, gender, politics, history and transcultural experience-circulate within and through the subjects and fields upon which the program draws.
Performance Studies offers an introductory course (Theatre 220) and a capstone course (Theatre 335). In 2004-05, these courses are listed in the theatre department:
Students interested in participating in the Performance Studies Program are encouraged to do five things: 1) take the introductory course, which in 2004-05 is Theatre 220, Approaching Performance Studies; 2) take the capstone course, which in 2004-05 is Theatre 335, Contemporary U.S. Theatre and Performance: Latinos/as in the Everyday ; 3) try different artistic media, both in the curriculum and beyond; 4) move between the doing of art and performance and thinking about that process; and 5) prepare a portfolio of their work in different media.
As a senior year project, we strongly recommend the generation of a senior portfolio. Preparation of the portfolio should normally begin in the second semester of the junior year. It will be done under the supervision of a member of the advisory faculty and will be submitted in the spring of the senior year. What we suggest is that portfolios should draw on at least four projects or productions. They should show critical self-reflection on the creative processes, a comparison of the artistic media employed and also demonstrate performance criticism on the work of others.
THEA 220(S) Approaching Performance Studies (Same as Women's and Gender Studies 220)
Theatre, film, video, music, dance, visual art, performance art, community activism, public gatherings-all fall under the rubric of "performance." Performance studies takes on these types of performances in the name of theorizing performance as a cultural act. This course will serve as an introduction to the field of performance studies and its theoretical bases in anthropology, dramatic theory, poststructuralism, psychoanalytic theory, folklore, religion, cultural studies, literary theory, religion, philosophy, feminist theory, and queer theory. In addition to reading and discussing theory, local live and recorded performances will be considered. Williams faculty who are advisory faculty for the Performance Studies Cluster (see masthead in the course catalog) will give guest lectures. The course will culminate in the showing of students' final projects. This course is the introduction course for the Performance Studies Program. Format: seminar. Each class will be organized around a topic. An example: liminality. The students would read Victor Turner to access the symbolic anthropological definition of liminality as "in-betweenness." We would also consider performances, either described in readings such as Mikhail Bakhtin's Rabelais and His World or on video/DVD, like Richard Schechner's Dionysus in 69. Students would bring to class short, 3-page papers on how these performances would comment on and possibly define a type of liminality. During the class meeting, along with the describing what is "in-between," they would need to establish what the parameters of the performance are; in other words, what is the "in-between" between? In the case of Schechner's Dionysus in 69, the anthropology-trained Schechner stages an Indonesian birth ritual at the beginning of the play, enacted by white naked actors in a warehouse in SoHo. In class, students would outline a revised, collective paper about the ethical and aesthetic aspects of Schechner's choice and how they play into the theoretical concept of liminality. Students are also required to make a final presentation, to be shown in a colloquium at the end of the semester. Participation in class and on Blackboard is mandatory. Evaluation will be based on class papers and final presentation. No prerequisites. Enrollment limit: 20 (expected: ?). No first-years admitted. Preference to sophomores, then juniors and seniors. This course is part of the Critical Reasoning and Analytical Skills initiative.
THEA 335(S) Contemporary U.S. Theatre and Performance: Latinos/as in the Everyday (Same as American Studies 335 and Women's and Gender Studies 337)*
This course explores Latino/a theatre and performance from the 1960ís to the present. We will study Latino/a theatre and performance in its broadest U.S. articulations, from mainstream Broadway productions to grass roots community carpas, from oppositional site-specific interventions to disembodied performance in cyber space. We will pay particular attention to the intrinsic connections between social movements and popular culture in the articulation of a counter-hegemonic Latino/a imaginary. What is the relationship between migration, memory, Aztlan, border culture, the "Spirit Republic of Puerto Rico," and exilic and diasporic subjectivities? format: seminar. Requirements: class participation and two presentations, one short essay (5-7 pages) and two longer essays (7-10 pages). No prerequisites. No enrollment limit (expected: 15).