Course code:



A - Advanced

Class size limit:


Lab fee:


Typically offered:


Drawing on performance studies, movement training, postcolonial studies and feminist theory, this class will investigate understandings of what is made to count as “political” in relation to claims about representation and the body. Over the course of the term, we will investigate and produce a range of conditions through which we consider ideas about responsibility, decision, the unknown and unexpected, repetition and difference, translation and dialogue, and relations of individual to group. We will do so through learning about the ways in which bodies matter in the fields of theatre, anthropology and literature. Both anthropology and theatre are often presumed to be vehicles for representation and for political change, but they have also posed questions about how the body challenges assumptions about representation and politics. This course will grapple with assumptions that politics is primarily about representation, speaking in “one’s own name,” or in the name of others. We will take questions about representation and its limits as a point of departure to consider the significance of the body (and bodies) for understandings of politics. We will focus on questions of affect, the sensory, proximity, temporality, scale and place. In so doing, we will consider the idea of politics as based on a relation and response to an other, rather than on representation. In turn, we will address questions about the relationship between art and politics. Classes will include movement training practices and seminar discussion. Course materials may include works by Hannah Arendt, Anne Bogart, Charlie Chaplin, Charles Darwin, Jacques Derrida, Sarah DeLappe, Cornelius Eady, Shoshana Felman, Sigmund Freud, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, Valeria Luiselli, Jean-Luc Nancy, William Shakespeare, Sophocles, Tadashi Suzuki and Anna Tsing. Students will be evaluated based on class participation, collaborative group projects, seminar discussion, short topic responses, and a final project.


permission of instructor; priority will be given to students who have successfully completed advanced coursework in Literature, Anthropology or Performance Studies.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.