Introduction to Performance Studies
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students
Department: Humanities
Course Number: NHUM 2035
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Cultural Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Theater History, Theory & Criticism
This course offers an overview of the interdisciplinary field of performance studies as it has developed from the 1960s to the present, paying close attention to gender, sexuality, the construction of racial identity, and the politics of taste. A field of study that is often inspired by the performing arts, performance studies emphasizes critical approaches to the study of individuals as actors in society. It provides a valuable set of questions for thinking about everyday life, language, and culture as performance practice. Questions that we bring to our work include: How do we perform our identities? How do different performances illuminate how the world functions? How do the continually shifting scripts that guide our behavior give us insight into the nature of power and the way it plays out in public? This course emphasizes critical approaches rather than the practical study of traditional drama and theater. Given the various types of media we examine--including film, visual art, and music--the course is useful to students wishing to employ a performance studies approach in the social sciences, to artists, and to those who wish to consider the social and political effects of art and media.
Course Open to: Degree Students