Performance, Activism and Social movements
The course explores the creative and intellectual tensions and overlaps between Theatre Studies and Performance Studies by focusing on activist rallies and social movements that occupy public spaces. The course analyzes not only how the performing arts provide a vital public forum to debate issues of welfare, democracy and human rights, but also how theories and methodologies from Theatre and Performance Studies can be applied to the study of demonstrations, protest rallies and activist interventions. The course applies historical and contemporary perspectives and offers examples from the civil rights movement, HIV and AIDS activism, feminist and anti-racist struggles as well as the global justice movement to study how they use theatrical and performative means and expressions to convey their political messages. The course also thematizes how increased social surveillance and state-sanctioned violence have affected contemporary manifestations in public spaces since 9/11.