Courses: Winter 2011
BCULST 582 Cultural Studies - UW Bothell
C Lit 497 (w Near E 410a/Near E 510a)
C Lit 596 A
History 468/SISSE 590
Italian Studies 592
BCULST 582, Th, 5:30-10:00pm, 5 credits
Approaches to Performance-Based Research Methods
Performance-based research methods focuses on how a specific performance approach, such as dance, movement, theatre, storytelling, mixed media, or performing ethnography, acts as a site of research in relation to a particular topic. Examines how to implement performance-based approached and assess their significance.
C Lit 497, with Near East 410a/near East 510a, MW, 1:30-2:50, 3 credits
Middle East Through Cinema
Analyzes the function of cinema in shaping communal and individual identities in Middle Eastern cultures. Examines topics including religious transformation, violence, identity, gender, immigration, and exile through film screenings, discussions, and supplementary readings.
C LIT 596 A, Th, 2:30-5:20, 5 credits
Cinema and the Late Twentieth Century
This course examines the relationship between cinema and the late twentieth century. We will, on the one hand, begin to periodize the late twentieth century as a historical era with its own contours, and the reading will include cultural theory produced in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as retrospective accounts of the time. On the other hand, we will examine changes in film aesthetics, production, and industrial structures that unfold in that era. Topics will include (among others): postmodern theory and cinema; the blockbuster and other key transformations in the economic logic of the film industry; the relationship between cultural studies and film scholarship; the heritage and nostalgia film; alternative conceptions of heritage; the influence of video and television; and the rise of digital media. We will also consider the challenge to classical and modern film theory posed by the "aging" of cinema in an era when it no longer represents the vanguard of entertainment and artistic technology.
Dance 550, T/TH 9-10:30am, 3 credits
This course offers students theoretical and practical experience in dance ethnography, ethnology, and oral history. While the primary focus will be on dance, methods and theories discussed will also be applicable to other physical practices such as music, theatre, sports, and performance art. Students will be introduced to theories and methods of ethnographic fieldwork, ethnographic writing, and ethnologic analysis. We will contextualize our work within the history of dance anthropology and dance cultural studies, engaging with current debates and problems in both fields. We will also touch upon issues of performance ethnography as conceptualized by scholars in performance studies. All students will be expected to conduct ethnographic fieldwork. In addition to writing fieldnotes for each fieldsite visit, students will present the results of one of their research studies to the class in an oral presentation/performance. Students will also complete a final paper or performance based on their ethnographic research.
Drama 576, T/Th, 2:30-4:50, 5 credits
Conversations with Antiquity
This course is designed to explore the first encounters with antiquity from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. From the unearthing of the Laocoon, to the first modern publications of classical literature, the commentaries on them, the re-construction projects of the Italian academies, the imitation of classical forms, the debates of the ancients and the moderns, to the Greek Revival of the 18th century, the resurgence of classical learning and the return of antiquity was a vital force of culture in the west. The broad approach of this seminar considers the theme of dialogue between periods through many mediums: art history, architecture, theatre, and theatre culture, including such possible topics as the invention of Neo-Classicism, Renaissance concepts of Roman theatres, Greek Revival architecture, and nationalism, the Senecan tradition of tragedy, the Humanist comedies of the academies, the re-discovery of perspective, and the poetics of ruins.
Drama 586, W/F, 2:30-4:50, 5 credits
The Semiotics of Theater and Film
The aim of this course is to introduce, in historical and critical context, the basic tenets of semiotics, focusing primarily on the semiotics of theater, and secondarily on the semiotics of film, as semiotics has developed from the 1970s to the present. Theoretical essays and books, play texts, live and taped theater performances, and films will be discussed. Performance -- whether materially present as a live event, seen on film, or imagined through a text – will be analyzed in several perspectives: the representation of space and time; textual and visual rhetoric; and acting --gesture, movement, and corporeal presence. The broad field of socio-semiotics is also addressed: cultural signs and codes, the historicity of signs, and semiotic theories of culture. Also a key issue to be addressed is how semiotics has influenced, interrogated, exposed, and been incorporated into the theory and practice of other analytical methods and schools.
Germanics 535, T 1:30-4:20, 5 credits
Jane K. Brown
This course will cover Goethe's Faust focusing on its conversations with the entire European theatrical tradition. It will also look at a few earlier dramatic treatments of the Faust material, and some of the operas and films dependent on it. I am willing to work with students who will be reading in English.
HIST 468/SISSE 590, T/Th 1:30 - 3:20, 5 credits
Theatre as a Site of History and Memory
This course will investigate Mahabharata tales, that form the repertoire of many South and Southeast Asian performance traditions, Javanese Wayang Purwa, and Asian American theater traditions as sites of memory, testimony, and archive and will be looking at the way that performance traditions change as they become transnational and diasporic. We will explore how these different traditions create textual communities and identities. Focusing on story-telling, design, and cultural memories, the course will research the encoding and transmission of knowledge in theatrical traditions. Through an interdisciplinary approach combining ethnographic and historiographical methods, the class will move from theatrical arts to stories as sites of memory to see how text, artifact, and site police the borders of identity and tradition.
Italian Studies 592, MF 1.30-4.20, 5 credits
Did Women Have a Renaissance?
Did women have a Renaissance? This question, famously posed by Joan Kelly in the 1970s, has invited myriad responses over the last 30 years. This seminar invites students to examine their own assumptions, and that of the canon: that the “Renaisssance” was constructed by, for, and through the work of male writers, artists, rulers--and male historians. In order to formulate a response to the problem, we will examine a series of Italian texts (by both men and women) from the 1300s-1580s, within the context of recent debates. Our analyses will take into account the historical context, including evolutions in portraiture and the significance of clothing and fashion. We will cover four main areas: the woman as valued status symbol, the court lady, the courtesan, and the warrior woman. In closing we will consider monstrous women and witches.
- Engage with the major debates surrounding the study of Renaissance culture in contemporary criticism, and consider the status of women as both the objects and the producers of cultural discourse in the early modern period, in order to formulate a response to the question, “Did women have a Renaissance?”
- Build a collegial community, within which to develop a scholarly contribution to ongoing discussions (in the form of a long paper).
- Engage with the work of peers so as to provide them with useful feedback, and so as to develop critical awareness of one’s own work within the academic community.
- Evaluate the appropriation of a Renaissance woman’s poetry in a contemporary film, in order to consider how both women and history are represented in film.
No prior reading knowledge of Italian; texts and criticism will be read and discussed in English; students whose major field is Italian will read texts in the original. Students will be required to write 1 short paper (3-5 pages) and give one major presentation; this work will lead to the development of a final research paper (12-18 pages).