Performance Ethnography: The Body as Technology/The Technology of Empathy
Theatre course: Advanced Acting: Suzuki, Viewpoints & Composition
Course Number(s): THEATR 4005/7005, cross-listed undergraduate/graduate; Theatre, English, Communication, Journalism, Film Studies and Peace Studies
Semester: Fall 2011
Through lecture, discussion and field research, this course will explore both the performance and writing of ethnography, the study of a particular culture from within said culture. Grounded in the belief that performance can be defined as embodied cultural expression, this course involves the study of the capacities and capabilities of the human body as raw communicative material. Students will explore the critical, theoretical and ethical issues located at the intersection of ethnography and performance, as well as methods for creating and critiquing ethnographic performances and ethnographic writings. Students will also explore performative writing, a method in which the body and the word, the performative and theoretical and the personal and political coalesce. This course – focused on interaction and collaboration – will involve intensive amounts of reading, writing and – especially – fieldwork in the community (interviews, etc.). The course will culminate in a polished (solo) ethnographic performance which should be delivered via innovative means live, on film, an integration of the two, or an alternative practical or digital technique appropriate to the project. This is a performance course, but previous performance experience is not required.
Instructor(s): Matt Saltzberg
Media of the Future