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TAPS 115F: Tragedy: Forms and Conflicts (ENGLISH 115F)

This course introduces students to central questions of tragedy. Why do we find tragic spectacle so compelling, even pleasurable? What role does conflict play in individual selfhood and social formation? And why does tragedy elicit such strong theoretical and philosophical responses? At the same time, the course provides an introduction to literary history through the study of genre. What might connect modern tragedy to ancient Greek drama? How are genres transformed through reading, commentary, and adaptation? The course will be based on close reading and discussion of authors including Sophocles, Seneca, Shakespeare, Calderon, Milton, and Buchner.
Last offered: Spring 2020 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

TAPS 133T: Transgender Performance and Performativity (FEMGEN 133)

This course examines theater, performance art, dance, and embodied practice by transgender artists. Students will learn the history and politics of transgender performance while considering the creative processes and formal aesthetics trans artists use to make art. We will analyze creative work in conversation with critical and theoretical texts from the fields of performance studies, art history, and queer studies.
Last offered: Autumn 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE

TAPS 150W: Computers & Performance

From elaborately costumed avatars in virtual worlds, to professional live-streamers working 12-hour shifts, to digitally animated celebrities existing only through their social media accounts, the computer has become a creative engine not of literature or film, but of performance -- a genre traditionally thought to depend on the presence of a body. This seminar asks: why performance? We will adopt methods of performance research and direct them at MMORPGs, hacktivists, YouTube lip-synchers, Instagram feeds, Fortnite dances, and even a few plays. Students will discuss the various utopian affordances and dystopian structures of digital life, and study how conversations about computing have changed over history. They will learn how performances highlight the degree to which contemporary digital culture is constituted by, and further entrenches, race and gender. Ultimately, they will develop their own artworks (games, websites, dances, videos, podcasts) that will embody and question the fraught intersection between computers and performance.
Last offered: Spring 2020 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

TAPS 151: Dramaturgy (TAPS 315)

This class examines the role of narrativity in live performance. Class topics range from the classics, to contemporary theater, dance, new media, performance art curatorship, and beyond, to grand social narratives. Integration of scholarship and practice is one of basic principles of dramaturgy, and this class follows in that spirit. Exploration of dramaturgical techniques is aimed to help students prepare to work on production dramaturgy. To that end, they will have an option to complete their final course assignment by serving as production dramaturgs on one of TAPS shows.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE

TAPS 151C: Hamlet and the Critics (ENGLISH 115C)

Focus is on Shakespeare's Hamlet as a site of rich critical controversy from the eighteenth century to the present. Aim is to read, discuss, and evaluate different approaches to the play, from biographical, theatrical, and psychological to formalist, materialist, feminist, new historicist, and, most recently, quantitative. The ambition is to see whether there can be great literature without (a) great (deal of) criticism. The challenge is to understand the theory of literature through the study of its criticism.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Lupic, I. (PI)

TAPS 151P: Transpacific Performance (CSRE 151P, TAPS 351P)

Building on exciting new work in transpacific studies, this course explores how performance reveals the many ways in which cultures and communities intersect across the diverse and dynamic Pacific Ocean world, covering works from the Americas and Asia, Pacific Islands, and Australia. In an era when the Pacific has emerged as the center of global cultural and financial power, what critical and ethical role does performance play in treating the region's entangled histories, its urgent contemporary issues, and possible futures?
Last offered: Spring 2020 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

TAPS 151T: Global Great Books: Dramatic Dialogues (TAPS 351)

The most influential and enduring texts in the dramatic canon from Sophocles to Shakespeare, Chekhov to Soyinka. Their historical and geopolitical contexts. Questions about the power dynamics involved in the formation of canons. This course counts as a Writing in the Major course for TAPS in 2016-17.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

TAPS 152L: Nietzsche: Life as Performance (GERMAN 125, GERMAN 325, TAPS 325)

Nietzsche famously considered that "there is no 'being' behind the deed, its effect, and what becomes of it; the 'doer' is invented as an afterthought - the doing is everything." How should we understand this idea of a deed without a doer, how might it relate to performance, and what influence has it had on modern culture? In order to answer these questions, we will consider Nietzsche's writings alongside some of the artworks that influenced Nietzsche or were influenced by him.
Last offered: Spring 2020 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

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.*
Last offered: Autumn 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
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