Dance 550

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Dance/Performance Ethnography
Juliet McMains

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.