ALA 260 - Humanities Topics in ALA
Winter 2020, Section 001 - Engaging Performance
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Applied Liberal Arts (ALA)
Department: LSA UG: Curriculum Support
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


This course connects undergraduate students directly to the touring, world-class artists who perform music, theater, and dance on campus through the University Musical Society (UMS), the arts presenter at U-M. Students will attend live performances, talk with the artists and the arts administrators who help get them here, and explore how the performing arts have historically been and continue to be an integral part of our lives and those of the world at large. The course will focus around required attendance at eight evening performances, plus regular classroom sessions that will involve interactive classroom activities, lectures (including some by guests and visiting artists), discussion of weekly readings, response papers about the performances and readings, in-class student presentations, and more. Students will attend eight live performances: three theater pieces; one dance performance; and four musical performances. The theater pieces include Believers Are But Brothers, a multimedia show about radicalism, indoctrination, and online extremism; White Feminist, a comedy about the failings of non-intersectional feminism; and Home, a production by absurdist theater artist Geoff Sobelle about the transformation of a house into a home. The dance performance is by Dorrance Dance, the exhilarating tap dance company led by MacArthur Award winner Michelle Dorrance. And the musical performances include shows by Mariachi Vargas, one of the world’s most renowned mariachi ensembles; the Tarek Yamani Trio, who play a fusion of US American jazz and Arabic tarab; the New York Philharmonic String Quartet, who will perform a program by Haydn, Shoshtakovich and Dvoràk; and Zakir Hussain, Kala Ramnath, and Jayanthi Kumaresh, playing classical instrumental Indian music. These performances constitute the course’s primary “texts,” and the full package of tickets is available to students enrolled in the course for the dramatically reduced rate of $120. Engaging Performance is made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a partnership between the University of Michigan and the University Musical Society (UMS).

Intended Audience:

Open to all students.

Class Format:

Two class sessions per week plus 8 required evening performances. Co-taught with Professor Mark Clague.


ALA 260 - Humanities Topics in ALA
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)