Movement and Meaning: Dance in a Global Context


This course introduces students to various approaches to studying dance in a humanities context. We will explore how people create meaning through dance and how dance, in turn, influences social norms, political institutions, aesthetic ideals and cultural practices. As we compare dance forms across the globe, we will also examine issues of race, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity, analyzing how dance literally embodies identity. At the same time, we will discover how contemporary unequal power hierarchies bear on our designation of some dance forms as "Western" and others as "world" or "ethnic." Tensions around assessment of authenticity/creativity, adaptation/appropriation, agency/resistance, and cultural hierarchies shift with social and political hegemony and with the individual's position as insider or outsider (a position that can shift depending on context). Throughout the semester, the usual process of the course will be discussion of assigned reading and viewing and analyzing together dance videos shown in class. A few dance workshops will be included (for which no previous dance training is necessary). Required work includes short papers and a final project.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; BU IS; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM; FA CPSC

Section 01

Movement and Meaning: Dance in a Global Context
INSTRUCTOR: Joanna Dee Das
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