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TAPS 153M: Mechanics of the Theater: The Technologies of Stagecraft

This course explores the history of technologies vital to the theatre: traps, lifts, lights, and sounds have been crucial for creating stage illusion. Divided into three main sections, Mechanics and Machines, Lighting and Projections, and Acoustics and Sound, we will examine the history of technological innovation and theatrical experimentation from the Enlightenment to the present. We will also be conducting case studies for each section with a core text or texts. We will cover Shakespeare's Hamlet, Ibsen's Ghosts, Chekhov's The Seagull, and Dreamgirls, The Musical. n nTechnologies such as mechanical traps, electrical lights, and sound machines have been used to create stunning illusions and spectacular theater. Many of these technologies were also significant for the histories of industrialization and modernization. We will ask: How did theater makers develop and innovate using technological innovations? What role does technological aesthetics play in understanding human culture? What are the relationships between theater, technology, and society? In class, we will be reading, experimenting, and performing with various technological artifacts. We will be conducting experiments alongside our reading practice to better understand our historical subjects.
Last offered: Autumn 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI

TAPS 154G: Black Magic: Ethnicity, Race, and Identity in Performance Cultures (AFRICAAM 154G, CSRE 154D, FEMGEN 154G)

In 2013, CaShawn Thompson devised a Twitter hashtag, #blackgirlmagic, to celebrate the beauty and intelligence of black women. Twitter users quickly adopted the slogan, using the hashtag to celebrate everyday moments of beauty, accomplishment, and magic. The slogan offered a contemporary iteration of an historical alignment: namely, the concept of "magic" with both Black people as well as "blackness." This course explores the legacy of Black magic--and black magic--through performance texts including plays, poetry, films, and novels. We will investigate the creation of magical worlds, the discursive alignment of magic with blackness, and the contemporary manifestation of a historical phenomenon. We will cover, through lecture and discussion, the history of black magic representation as well as the relationship between magic and religion. Our goal will be to understand the impact and history of discursive alignments: what relationship does "black magic" have to and for "black bodies"? H more »
In 2013, CaShawn Thompson devised a Twitter hashtag, #blackgirlmagic, to celebrate the beauty and intelligence of black women. Twitter users quickly adopted the slogan, using the hashtag to celebrate everyday moments of beauty, accomplishment, and magic. The slogan offered a contemporary iteration of an historical alignment: namely, the concept of "magic" with both Black people as well as "blackness." This course explores the legacy of Black magic--and black magic--through performance texts including plays, poetry, films, and novels. We will investigate the creation of magical worlds, the discursive alignment of magic with blackness, and the contemporary manifestation of a historical phenomenon. We will cover, through lecture and discussion, the history of black magic representation as well as the relationship between magic and religion. Our goal will be to understand the impact and history of discursive alignments: what relationship does "black magic" have to and for "black bodies"? How do we understand a history of performance practice as being caught up in complicated legacies of suspicion, celebration, self-definition? The course will give participants a grounding in black performance texts, plays, and theoretical writings. *This course will also satisfy the TAPS department WIM requirement.*
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

TAPS 156A: Warhol: Painting, Photography, Performance (ARTHIST 156A, ARTHIST 356A, TAPS 356A)

This course focuses on the career of Andy Warhol as a means to consider the broader history of American art and culture since 1950. It examines little-studied aspects of Warhol¿s visual production (e.g. his career as a commercial artist in the 1950s and his everyday photographs of the 1970s and 1980s) alongside his now-canonical Pop paintings of the 1960s. Warhol?s critical and scholarly reception will be scrutinized in detail, as will published interviews of and writings by the artist. Finally, we will consider Warhol¿s legacy and wide-ranging influence on American culture in the decades since his death in 1987.
Last offered: Winter 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

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: Spring 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

TAPS 160: Performance and History: Rethinking the Ballerina (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.
Last offered: Winter 2017 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-Gender, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

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.
Last offered: Spring 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

TAPS 161D: Introduction to Dance Studies: Dancing Across Stages, Clubs, Screens, and Borders (CSRE 61, DANCE 161D, FEMGEN 161D)

This introduction to dance studies course explores dance practice and performance as means for producing cultural meaning. Through theoretical and historical texts and viewing live and recorded dance, we will develop tools for analyzing dance and understanding its place in social, cultural, and political structures. This uses dance and choreography as a lens to more deeply understand a wide range of identity and cultural formations, such as gender, race, sexuality, (dis)ability, (trans)nationality, and empire. We will analyze dancing bodies that move across stages, dance clubs, film screens, and border zones. We will examine dance from diverse locales and time periods including ballet, modern and contemporary dance, contact improvisation, folkloric dance, burlesque, street dance, queer club dance, drag performance, music videos, TV dance competitions, and intermedia/new media performance. In addition to providing theoretical and methodological grounding in dance studies, this course develops performance analysis skills and hones the ability to write critically and skillfully about dance. No previous experience in dance is necessary to successfully complete the course.
Last offered: Autumn 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

TAPS 162L: Latin/x America in Motion: An Introduction to Dance Studies (CHILATST 162, CSRE 162D, DANCE 162L, TAPS 262L)

This course introduces students to the field of Dance Studies by examining the histories of Latin American and Caribbean dances and their relationship to developing notions of race and nation in the Americas. We will study the historical emergence and transformation of ¿indigeneity,¿ ¿blackness,¿ ¿whiteness,¿ and ¿Latin/@/x¿ and consider how dance practices interacted with these identifications. No prior experience with Dance or Latin America and the Caribbean necessary.
Last offered: Autumn 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

TAPS 163D: Shakespeare: The Ethical Challenge (ENGLISH 163D)

Was the eighteenth century right in proclaiming Shakespeare to be the greatest moral philosopher? What are the ethical challenges Shakespeare's major plays still pose for us? Can we divorce ethical decisions from the contingencies of experience? We will ask a series of normative ethical questions (to do with pleasure, power, old age, self-sacrifice, and truth telling) and attempt to answer them in relation to the dramatic situation of Shakespeare's characters on the one hand and our own cultural situation on the other. The ethical challenge of Shakespearean drama will be set against selected readings in ethical theory.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER
Instructors: Lupic, I. (PI)

TAPS 167: Introduction to Greek Tragedy: Gods, Heroes, Fate, and Justice (CLASSICS 112)

Gods and heroes, fate and free choice, gender conflict, the justice or injustice of the universe: these are just some of the fundamental human issues that we will explore in about ten of the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
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