GERMAN 731 - Cultural and Historical Analysis
Section: 001 Performing Race, Gender, Nation
Term: FA 2018
Subject: German (GERMAN)
Department: LSA Germanic Languages & Literatures
Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected four times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

In 2012 controversy arose in Berlin when the Deutsches Theater produced a play by Dea Loher called Innocence and hired two white actors to perform black characters in blackface. What had convinced the Deutsches Theater to use blackface in a performance? Why did people react so strongly against it? This course examines how people in Central Europe have performed racial, national, and gendered identities throughout their modern history. In this course we will investigate two different kinds of performance. First, we will examine the role of performance as an artistic enterprise. Film, opera, theater, music, dance, and the visual arts are all kinds of performances this course seeks to interrogate in order to understand identity construction in Germany. But we will also examine how performance is an everyday act. In a Geertzian sense, our quotidian encounters with people are themselves a performance, where cultural behavioral codes are at play. In other words, examining different kinds of performances allows us to debate and consider how identities have been made, un-made, and/or re-made in German history. By investigating the forms, functions, and meanings of aesthetic as well as everyday performances, we will deepen our understanding of how Germans have created and contested their own definitions of race, gender, and the nation. In this discussion-based course, we will read seminal texts by Homi K. Bhabha, Roland Barthes, Bertolt Brecht, Judith Butler, E. Patrick Johnson, Barbara Kirschenblatt-Gimblett, Erwin Piscator, Edward Said, Richard Schechner, Katrin Sieg, Christopher Small, Gayatri Spivak, Diana Taylor, and others.

GERMAN 731 - Cultural and Historical Analysis
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
W 2:00PM - 5:00PM
002 (SEM)
Th 2:00PM - 5:00PM
003 (SEM)
Tu 4:00PM - 7:00PM
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