Seminar as Spectacle [A,F]

Term: Spring 2010

Subject Code: GSOC

Course Number: 5200

The course is an attempt to understand and explore the spectacle of everyday life as done through the prism of play. In addition it attempts to discover how the play element in culture is realized, utilizing Huizinga’s Homo Ludens as a starting point text; then following up with Roger Callois, Man, Play and Games. I decided to also examine the dramaturgical way of knowing including scholars, writers, playwrights, politically controversial figures, such as Baraka, Beckett, Brecht and Mamet; while at the same time paying attention to works of Turner, Goffman, Zerubavel, Bateson, Grotowski, Garfinkle, Pirandello, Lyman, Jarry and others.

Readings for the course focuses on part of a sociology of theater and engage the following strategic research sites: a local medical school (the original theater), professional wrestling events, baseball games, On and Off Broadway theaters, drag balls, fashion shows, con games, subway musicians (as street theater), mendicancy, underground theater, Hip-Hop shows, and one circus performance. Students are required to attend at least three events, construct narratives, discuss and make presentations. A final paper is encouraged.

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