Jasmine Mahmoud, Assistant Professor of Theatre History and Performance Studies
This seminar stages relationships between performance – embodied actions, witnessed or watched, framed in time and space (Elin Diamond) – and geography, or “earth writing”. We begin with Caribbean theorist Sonjah Stanley-Niaah’s framing of “performance geography” in Dancehall: from Slave Ship to Ghetto as a lens to link identity, place, and artistic, cultural, and everyday acts. Performance and geography will also be engaged with readings and embodied engagements on neighborhoods, infrastructure, public policy (including redlining), mapping, race, gender, sexuality, decoloniality, and aesthetics. A central course thread will query methods (such as scoring, physical and digital mapping, and interviewing), particularly how performance studies methods dialogue with methods used in geography. Students will read theoretical texts, make performance activities (including guided tours), and engage/attend performances such as Jaho Koo’s The Korean History of Western Theatre at On the Boards, Martyna Majok’s Sanctuary City at Seattle Rep, and the Neo-Futurists' performance "A Neo-Futurist Map of Subjectively Important Chicago Landmarks." Other assignments include weekly discussion posts, an in-class presentation about one week of reading, and a final research paper or performance. Embodied activities will be accessible to all backgrounds – no performance experience is required.