Communication and Culture | Culture,Performance, Power
C422 | 9281 | Goodman


Middle Eastern cultures are well-known for the richness and diversity
of their performance practices.  Through films, readings, and
discussions of a range of performance situations, the course develops
a complex, contextualized, and nuanced view of diverse Middle Eastern
cultures through their performances.  Taking an ethnographic
perspective, we view performance as not only a formal display for an
audience but also as the range of communicative events that help to
organize relationships within a community.  As such, performances can
tell us a great deal about the organization of social and political
life.  Questions we will explore include:  How are performances of
poetry, song, stories, and dance bound up with the exercise of power,
the organization of gender, religious experience,or the expression of
emotion?  How do performances constitute sites where men and women
comment upon and creatively respond to such wider forces as
colonialims, nationalism, globalization, and "modernity"?

Likely topics to be covered include: poetry and tribal politics; the
poetry of love and personal life; dance, trance, and the veneration of
saints; marketplace discourse and street performance; solo female
entertainers and women's bands-for-hire; urban spectacles; national
and transnational performances; and identity formation in the
diaspora.