Communication and Culture | Topics in Performance and Culture: Documentary Theater: Performing Ethnographies
C414 | 14941 | Leila Monaghan
Topic: Documentary Theater: Performing Ethnographies
Class Number: 14941 (TE F256)
TuTh 4:00 PM-5:15 PM
Suggested prerequisite: at least one of CMCL C122, C229 and/or
C334: Critical Ethnography.
Fulfills COAS A&H distribution requirement
Instructor: Leila Monaghan
Office: Mottier 221
Richard Bauman discusses five definitions of "performance"
1. Performance as practice, produced and reproduced by situated
2. Performance as quality of theatricality, stems from very old and
widespread root metaphor of life as theater.
3. Performance as performative, particularly seeing how speech has
4. Performance as artful communication, particularly the poetics of
5. Performance as display event rooted in Durkheimian tradition,
ritual practice as the ground of conscience collective.
In Documentary Theater, we will examine both these intellectual
underpinnings of performance and then produce ethnographic theatre
pieces that reflect and test the power of these notions. Students
will have do ethnographies of local communities, and then transcribe
and perform actual conversations from these communities. One on-
going theme of the course is how live performances compare to filmed
documentaries. Requirements of the class include active
participation, short papers on readings, ethnographic reports,
presentation of theatre pieces and a final paper comparing written
to performed ethnography.