African Theater and Performance
MW 2:30-4:50PM, Hutchinson 150
Prof. Catherine Cole, firstname.lastname@example.org
DESCRIPTION: An exploration of theater, dance, and oral performance from Africa, this seminar primarily focuses on West Africa and South Africa, with brief forays into Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We will consider a range of performance forms, including oral traditions such as the Sundiata Epic and Ananse storytelling as well as plays by writers such Wole Soyinka, Ama Ata Aidoo, Efua Sutherland, Zakes Mda, Athol Fugard, John Kani, and Winston Ntshona. We will also consider theories about decolonization by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Achille Mbembe, and Frantz Fanon. The course concludes with an examination of contemporary performances by artists such as Mamela Nyamza, Gregory Maqoma, and Faustin Linyekula.
GOALS: The class is designed to
1) Provide graduate students with a foundational orientation to the performative cultures and critical debates animating African performance.
2) Prepare graduate students to teach with confidence African content in their future teaching careers.
3) Cultivate cross-cultural literacy and intercultural understanding through the arts.