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Call for Proposals
The Center for Performance Studies has been the kind recipient of two New Course Development Grants. Both will allow us to create two new team taught inter-disciplinary seminars, Center-Seminars, for the next academic year. These Center seminars will be themed around a common idea and will involve four faculty for each seminar. Every faculty will teach two and half weeks (five meeting dates) and hand it off to the next faculty. All four will be involved in the planning and the grading of the course. Ideally, a common text would be useful to help cement the varied approaches.
The first seminar is titled "Rebuilding culture, Recovering Identity through performance." It considers how performance itself functions to preserve or restore identity or culture in populations in crisis. Examples might include: how performance functioned in the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during the second world war, or how performance functions as a repository of national identity for first generation immigrants. The idea is to use four separate case studies, from different disciplines to expose the common destinations of disparate approaches, and expose the students to how other disciplines work. This seminar considers less how performance adapts to new cultures as its resistance to adapting, his insistence on tradition, and how that serves to preserve culture. Performance is a powerful repository of memory for the dispossessed, or relocated, or for those populations acclimatizing to new cultures, and such might be the topic of investigation for the course.
The second seminar is themed around 'The Colonial Moment' and it considers performance in that first generation of contact. Like the previous seminar, the focus is not on the specific history of any one site or tradition, but rather on performance itself, how it resists, adjusts, exposes, abdicates its own discipline, its own traditions, under the new colonizing presence. Sites can be as diverse as Meso-America, the Pacific Northwest, South Africa, from the near present to Antiquity. Like the other seminar, it too aspires to be global in its scope and inter-disciplinary in its approach.
Each participant will be awarded a $1,000 stipend for their contribution to the course, as well as 1/3 course credit, to be carried. As these Center Seminars are conceived to be sustainable annual offerings, a full course credit can be conferred on each faculty who participates in three such seminars.