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TAPS 160M: Introduction to Representations of the Middle East in Dance, Performance, & Popular Culture (CSRE 160M, DANCE 160M, FEMGEN 160M)

This course will introduce students to the ways in which the Middle East has been represented and performed by/in the 'West' through dance, performance, and popular culture in both historical and contemporary contexts. A brief look through today's media sources exposes a wide range of racialized and gendered representations of the Middle East that shape the way the world imagines the Middle East to be. As postcolonial theorist Edward Said explains, the framework we call Orientalism establishes the ontological character of the Orient and the Oriental as inherently `Other'. Starting with 19th century colonialism and continuing into the post-9/11 era, this course will trace the Western production, circulation, and consumption of representations of the Middle East as 'Other' in relation to global geopolitics. We will further examine dance forms produced in mid-twentieth century Iran and Egypt, with particular attention to nation-state building and constructions of gender. Finally, we will more »
This course will introduce students to the ways in which the Middle East has been represented and performed by/in the 'West' through dance, performance, and popular culture in both historical and contemporary contexts. A brief look through today's media sources exposes a wide range of racialized and gendered representations of the Middle East that shape the way the world imagines the Middle East to be. As postcolonial theorist Edward Said explains, the framework we call Orientalism establishes the ontological character of the Orient and the Oriental as inherently `Other'. Starting with 19th century colonialism and continuing into the post-9/11 era, this course will trace the Western production, circulation, and consumption of representations of the Middle East as 'Other' in relation to global geopolitics. We will further examine dance forms produced in mid-twentieth century Iran and Egypt, with particular attention to nation-state building and constructions of gender. Finally, we will examine artistic productions and practices from the Middle East and Middle Eastern diasporic communities that respond to colonialism, war, displacement, secularism, and Euro-American Empire. Using dance studies, postcolonial feminist, and critical race theoretical frameworks, we will consider the gender, racial, political, and cultural implications of selected performance works and practices in order to analyze how bodies produce meaning in dance, performance art, theater, film, photography, and new media. Students will engage in multiple modes of learning; the course will include lectures, engaged group discussions, viewing of live and recorded performance, embodied participation in dance practice, student oral presentations, and a variety of writing exercises. Course assignments will culminate in a final research project related to class themes and methods.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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