Staging Identity: Strategies for Surviving the American Stage

This course maps some benefits and perils of theater made for, by, or about people of color in the United States. We will investigate the difficult-to-theorize and contested space between politics and artistic craft. We will read both play scripts and critical essays, using each to illuminate and complicate the other. Some of the pairings purposefully cross categories of identity, genre or historic periods. We aim to shake loose some of these texts from identity-based or genre-specific readings and glean from them strategies for making theater and surviving.
Sample reading list:
Frantz Fanon, “The Fact of Blackness”
David Henry Hwang, Yellow Face
Teresa de Lauretis, The Practice of Love
Leroi Jones, Dutchman
Hilton Als, White Girls
Young Jean Lee, Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven

Reading/Writing assignments:
Approximately 100-150 pp reading per week. 5-page midterm paper. A final project will be either a ten-page paper or a creative project. Students will be required to facilitate assigned classes.


Headshot of Jorge Cortiñas

Jorge Cortiñas

Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies


S01 - Jorge Cortinas

Mondays 1:30 - 4:20 pm


Jorge Cortiñas