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TAPS 152: Introduction to Improvisation in Dance: From Salsa to Vodun to Tap Dance (AFRICAAM 52, CSRE 152, DANCE 152)

This seminar introduces students to Dance Studies by exploring the topic of improvisation, a central concept in multiple genres of dance and music. We will survey a range of improvised dance forms¿from salsa to vodun to tap dance¿through readings, video viewings, discussion, and movement exercises (no previous dance experience required). When studying each genre, we will examine how race, gender, sexuality, citizenship, and other power structures affect the practices and theorizations of improvisation. Topics include community and identity formation; questions of technique versus ¿natural¿ ability; improvisation as a spiritual practice; and the role of history in improvisers¿ quest for spontaneity. Course material will focus on improvised dance, but we will also read pertinent literature in jazz music, theatre, and the law.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Carrico, R. (PI)

TAPS 152D: Introduction to Dance in the African Diaspora (AFRICAAM 24, CSRE 24D, DANCE 24)

This course introduces students to dance as an important cultural force in the African Diaspora. From capoeira in Brazil to dance hall in Jamaica to hip hop in the United States and Ghana, we will analyze dance as a form of resistance to slavery, colonialism, and oppression; as an integral component of community formation; and as a practice that shapes racial, gendered, and national identity. We will explore these topics through readings, film viewings, and movement workshops (no previous dance experience required). Students will have the option to do a creative performance as part of their final project.
Last offered: Winter 2015 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

TAPS 154C: Shall We Dance? Social Dancing as Political Practice (CSRE 154C, DANCE 154, FEMGEN 154C)

This seminar investigates social dancing as a political practice, and the dance floor as a place where race, ethnicity, class status, and sexuality are formed and contested. While many students may be familiar with salsa, and can imagine how it produces particular kinds of Latin/a feminities, this course asks students to expand the notion of social dancing beyond partner-dancing spheres. Course materials will focus on dance practices from the late-nineteenth century to present-day, ranging from rural Louisiana dancehalls to NYC nightclubs to Iranian backyards. We will examine how dances become racially coded (e.g., what makes a dance black or Latin@?), and understand how categories such as gender, class, and regionality intersect with such racializations. Students will engage in a range of activities, including reading, viewing films, and participating in occasional movement workshops (no previous dance experience required). Each student¿s final project will require independent, sustained, ethnographic research in a social dance setting of choice (e.g., student dance club, yoga studio, aerobics class, or YouTube).
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Carrico, R. (PI)

TAPS 156: Performing History: Race, Politics, and Staging the Plays of August Wilson (AFRICAAM 156, TAPS 356)

This course purposefully and explicitly mixes theory and practice. Students will read and discuss the plays of August Wilson, the most celebrated and most produced contemporary American playwright, that comprise his 20th Century History Cycle. Class stages scenes from each of these plays, culminating in a final showcase of longer scenes from his work as a final project.
Last offered: Autumn 2013 | UG Reqs: WAY-CE, WAY-ED

TAPS 157: World Drama and Performance (TAPS 357)

This course takes up a geographically expansive conversation by looking at modern and contemporary drama from nations including Ghana, Egypt, India, Argentina, among others. Considering influential texts from the Global South will also enable us to explore a range of themes and methodologies that are radically re-shaping the field of Performance Studies. We will examine the relationship between colonialism and globalization, empire and capital, cosmopolitanism and neoliberalism. Re-situating our perspective from the Global South and the non-western world, we will ¿provincialize Europe¿ and probe the limits of its universalizing discourses.
Last offered: Autumn 2014 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

TAPS 160: Performance and History: Rethinking the Ballerina (DANCE 160, FEMGEN 160, TAPS 260)

The ballerina occupies a unique place in popular imagination as an object of over-determined femininity as well as an emblem of extreme physical accomplishment for the female dancer. This seminar is designed as an investigation into histories of the ballerina as an iconographic symbol and cultural reference point for challenges to political and gender ideals. Through readings, videos, discussions and viewings of live performances this class investigates pivotal works, artists and eras in the global histories of ballet from its origins as a symbol of patronage and power in the 15th century through to its radical experiments as a site of cultural obedience and disobedience in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-Gender, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

TAPS 165: Introduction to Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (COMPLIT 195, CSRE 196C, ENGLISH 172D, PSYCH 155, SOC 146)

How different disciplines approach topics and issues central to the study of ethnic and race relations in the U.S. and elsewhere. Lectures by senior faculty affiliated with CSRE. Discussions led by CSRE teaching fellows. Includes an optional Haas Center for Public Service certified Community Engaged Learning section.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

TAPS 181Q: Alternative Viewpoints: Black Independent Film (AFRICAAM 181Q, FILMSTUD 181Q)

Preference to sophomores. Do you want to learn more about independent film as it was practiced in major urban centers by young filmmakers? This class focuses on major movements by groups such as the Sankofa Film Collective and the L.A. Rebellion. Learn how to analyze film and to discuss the politics of production as you watch films by Spike Lee, Julie Dash, Melvin Van Peebles, Ngozi Onwurah and more. We will discuss representation, lighting, press material, and of course the films themselves. This course includes a workshop on production, trips to local film festivals and time to critique films frame-by-frame. It matters who makes film and how they do so. When you have completed this class you will be able to think critically about "alternative viewpoints" to Hollywood cinema. You will understand how independent films are made and you will be inspired to seek out and perhaps produce or promote new visions.
Last offered: Spring 2015 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

TAPS 197: Dance in Prison: The Arts, Juvenile Justice, and Rehabilitation in America (DANCE 197)

This class works collaboratively with a local juvenile hall to use civic engagement and performance to explore the aesthetic, cultural and legal issues in the lives of incarcerated youth. In the process students gain an understanding of incarceration on an immediate and personal scale. Taught jointly by a Dance Studies scholar and a lawyer specializing in Juvenile Justice, we will consider what unique understandings are possible if we position the arts as central to an exploration of punishment, rehabilitation and recidivism in America. The course will examine case studies, historical and contemporary narratives about the social, imaginative and behavioral change possible through arts programs in prison.Half of the class meetings will be in Hillcrest Juvenile Hall in San Mateo, where our class will join with a group of 13-18 year old youths currently detained there. Dance will be used to help shape their individual expressive voices, and ours, through collaborative hip hop dance classes. Books to be read are Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson, and Last Chance in Texas by John Hubner.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-ED
Instructors: Ross, J. (PI)

THINK 22: Who Owns the Past? Archaeology, Heritage and Global Conflicts

Who owns the past? Is cultural heritage a universal right?nnThis course interrogates the relationship between the past and the present through archaeology. Increasingly, heritage sites are flash points in cultural, economic, and religious conflicts around the globe. Clearly history matters ¿ but how do certain histories come to matter in particular ways, and to whom? Through close study of important archaeological sites, you will learn to analyze landscapes, architecture, and objects, as well as reflect on the scholarly and public debates about history and heritage around the world. Far from being a neutral scholarly exercise, archaeology is embedded in the heated debates about heritage and present-day conflicts.
Last offered: Winter 2014 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ED, WAY-SI
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