Theatre as a Site of History and Memory
This course will investigate Mahabharata stories, Vietnamese stories, Cambodian dance, Indonesian shadow puppet theater, and Asian American theater texts and 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, oral tradition, and cultural memories, the course will explore the encoding and transmission of knowledge, memory, and trauma in theatrical traditions. Through an interdisciplinary approach combining oral history work and historiographical methods, the class will move from theatrical arts to sites of memory and trauma to see how text, artifact, and site police the borders of identity and tradition. The course, co-taught by Laurie Sears (History) and Seattle theatre Director and Actor Tikka Sears (memorywartheater.com ), will explore the integration of innovative pedagogies with innovative content thus serving as preparation for graduate and undergraduate teaching. Readings include theoretical works on trauma and memory as well as dramatic texts from Asia, Asian America and African America.