ASIAN 546 - Critical Studies in Asian Performance: Indonesia and China
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course will examine cultural, social, and political issues in twentieth-century Indonesia and China through the lens of staged performance. In its synthesis of the textual, visual, aural, material, and kinesthetic, performance constitutes a multidimensional expressive medium that challenges conventional research methods and disciplinary approaches. In part, this course is focused on interrogating and examining new methodologies for the critical study of performance as a humanistic endeavor. In this sense, the course is appropriate generally for students interested in developing critical methodologies in theater, music, and dance studies. Additionally, by taking modern Indonesia and China as its focus, this course offers specialized training in the modern histories of these two specific domains of performance practice. China and Indonesia represent two somewhat different political trajectories for modern national-building in Asia. At the same time, shared questions cut across these two terrains, illuminating useful points of comparison and contrast: How did European and Japanese imperialisms shape and transform Indonesian and Chinese performance histories in different ways? What role did performance play in postcolonial nation-building and political revolutions and counter-revolutions in Indonesia and China during the mid-twentieth century? In what ways have issues of regional, ethnic, and spatial differences complicated relationships between performance and “national” identities in Indonesia and China? How have power-inflected differences such as elite and popular, male and female, official and unofficial, traditional and modern, and religious and secular shaped performance practices in contemporary Indonesia and China?

Course Requirements:

  • Reading responses & seminar participation 30%;
  • Performance viewing responses 10%;
  • Presentations on the readings/performances 10%;
  • Research presentation 10%;
  • Final research paper 40%

Intended Audience:

PhD and MA students in the humanities, arts, and humanistic social sciences. No background in Asian studies or performance expected or required.

Class Format:

One 3-hour meeting weekly

ASIAN 546 - Critical Studies in Asian Performance: Indonesia and China
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
Th 4:00PM - 7:00PM
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