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PMA 1138 : FWS: Playing with History: Reviewing the Past through Performance
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Samuel Blake
The history play is among the oldest forms of dramatic text. Performances that draw upon historical narratives for their subject matter continue to proliferate upon the contemporary stage. However, the past and its construction is a site of contention. Women, people of color, and individuals identifying with the LGBTQ community, name but a few identity categories that find themselves ignored and erased by many historical narratives. This course considers how performance can be a tool for marginalized communities to reassert narrative control over accounts of the past. Through close reading and analysis of dramatic texts and live/mediated performances, as well as a wide range of critically engaged writing assignments, we will explore questions surrounding history's construction and the potential of performance to intervene.
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PMA 1137 : FWS: Adapt and Revise: History through Theatre and Performance
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Erin Stoneking
How does a playwright adapt a historical event or figure for the stage? What roles do authenticity and accuracy play in dramatic adaptations of history? What makes history relevant on today's stage? And what's the big deal about Hamilton, anyway? In this course, we will read and watch plays, musicals, and performances that stage history. While our focus will be on dramatic texts, we will also examine how and by whom history is written, as well as the nature of artistic representation. With an emphasis on in-class discussion, student-led research, and in-class writing workshops, this course will foster and enhance each student's ability to produce coherent, concise, persuasive prose in the form of critical arguments.
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PMA 1130 : FWS: Going Undercover: Radical Undercover Journalism and the (re)creation of Self
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Rosalie Purvis
What would it be like to go through life as a completely different person? In order to expose and combat social injustice, journalists have crossed lines of race, gender, age, class and appearance and gone undercover, sometimes risking their reputations, sanity and even their lives. But what are the results of these experiments? Do the ends justify the sometimes ethically questionable means? How does "going undercover" affect an individual or a community? By examining works of John Howard Griffin, Sarah Jones, Morgan Spurlock, Barbara Ehrenreich, Norah Vincent and a variety of identity-probing texts, we examine the complex facets of diverse identities. The course facilitates a range of writing assignments and culminates in students devising and executing their own undercover journalism and research projects.
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