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ENGLISH LITERATURE (L14)  (Dept. Info)Arts & Sciences  (Policies)FL2021

L14 E Lit 160First-Year Seminar: Reading Lit as Performance: What Can Performance Studies Do for Lit Analysis?3.0 Units
Description:If "all the world's a stage," as Shakespeare famously quipped, is written word our script for navigating it? While theatrical metaphors abound, the textuality of literature is often construed as not just separate from but diametrically opposed to the embodied dimensions of performance. Vibrant work in the interdisciplinary field of Performance Studies, however, highlights how the textual and performative are in fact intimately connected. Indeed, philosopher J. L. Austin postulated that words *do* things (i.e., are performative) insofar as their utterance can enact material effects. Centering performance as both an object and method of analysis, this course grapples with the politics of performance by asking how words come to matter and toward what ends. In approaching literary texts as both performance and performative, the class will contemplate what tools from performance studies might offer for critical reading practices of literary analysis and interpretation. Likewise, it will ask how studies of literary texts might shift or challenge conventional understandings of performance-from individual corporeal movements to collective ritualized behaviors. In what ways might performance: re-shape understandings about self-identity and group formation; mediate the parameters of national belonging and citizenship; and, contest ideas about who does (not) count as American? Given that embodied differences (e.g., race, gender, nationality) are constituted performatively, we will analyze how feminist, queer, and artists of color have mobilized performance to problematize and reimagine dominant understandings of such differences. Course materials will include a broad range of creative works, possibly by artists such as Marina Abramovic, Gloria Anzaldúa, Wafaa Bilal, Coco Fusco, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Nella Larsen, Yoko Ono, Layli Long Soldier, Lysley Tenorio, and Charles Yu. Course is for first-year, non-transfer students only.
Instruction Type:Classroom instruction Grade Options:CPA Fees:
Course Type:HomeSame As:L61 160AFrequency:None / History
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