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

Dance is an under recognized political actor, despite widespread use of performance to project national identity onto the global stage. This course investigates dance as a both a state and a resistant practice of mobilization and identity construction. Forms studied include hula, Soviet ballet, modern dance at the height of the Cold War, Indonesian classical dance, and hip hop in contemporary France. Activities include dance assignments, readings, discussions, and viewings of performances. Guest artists will conduct studio sessions in a number of the dance forms. No prior 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
Clare Croft, Dancers as Diplomats
Paul Scolieri, Dancing the New World
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
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.

Other Requirements:
United States Travel Required




Tuesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 pm


Judith Hamera