Special Topics in Dance History, Criticism and Aesthetics: Mobilizing Bodies/Dancing The State

The ability to mobilize bodies is crucial to both the work of the state and to those challenging that work. Dance and dancers have been crucial in staging the state, and vocabularies from dance studies offer us a way to theorize the political potential of bodies in motion.  This course uses dance studies theory; case studies including U.S. State Department dance tours, Soviet ballet, hula, and Indonesian dance; and movement projects to examine intersections of dance, colonialism, state politics, and resistance.  No dance experience is necessary.

Sample reading list:
Jens Richard Giersdorf, The Body of the Peoples: East German Dance Since 1945
Adria Imada, Aloha America: Hulu Circuits Through the U.S. Empire
Rachmi Diyah Larasati, The Dance that Makes You Vanish: Cultural Reconstruction
Mark Franko, Dance and the Political: States of Exception
Randy Martin, Critical Moves
Paul Scolieri, Dancing the New World
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Students will be expected to read approximately 100 pages per week. Critical writing includes two short papers, one theorizing primary source material and the other theorizing contemporary events, a performance project with accompanying rationale, and a final paper devoted to an extended case study of dance and the construction of national identity with accompanying policy recommendation.




Thursdays, 1:30 - 4:20 pm


Judith Hamera