GESM 111: PERFORMING REVOLUTIONS:THE GLOBAL HISTORY OF THEATRE AND SOCIAL CHANGE(GE-A: The Arts, GE-G: Citizenship in a Global Era)Class Number:When:Where:Instructor:Office:Office Hours:Contact Info:35315DFA 2016, TTH 8:00 – 9:20 amMCC 102Brent Blair, Ph.D.MCC 101bTh 12:30 – 1:30 [email protected], cell: 323-356-2552Catalogue Description:This course explores the history, theory, and current practice of public performance as a tool for global sociopolitical transformation. Students investigate techniques such as flash mobs, agitation propaganda, street andguerrilla theatre, as well as Theatre of the Oppressed from the postcolonial era through the present. The coursewill involve virtual dialogues with practitioners based in India, Mozambique, Brazil, and Afghanistan, along with livevisits from local grass-roots activists. The class will create its own collective “revolutionary theatre” project, andwill observe examples of community-based events for social change in the south Los Angeles area.Course Objectives:Students will engage in personal and collective research around the global history and theory of theatre as criticaland cultural dialogue for social change. The class includes lectures, internet resources, film, video, multimedia, liveperformance, community engagement experiences, field trips, Skype sessions with global practitioners, and classdialogues. During this semester-long investigation of art as a tool of liberation, students will explore modelscreated and developed by practitioners such as Augusto Boal (Theatre of the Oppressed), Luis Valdez (TeatroCampesino), and performance ensembles struggling for social change in the former Yugoslavia, Uganda, SouthAfrica, the Philippines, as well as the instructor’s own experiences recently in Ukraine, Rwanda, India, Nigeria, andAustralia. Students will emerge with a strong experience of the use of theatre as a means of social transformationleading to a more complex understanding of the communities surrounding the USC campus.Core GE Learning Objectives (See Appendix)Class Community-based LACE Objectives: Crossing Borders“A boundary is not that at which something stops but, as the Greeks recognized, the boundary is that from whichsomething begins its presencing.”- Martin Heidegger, 'Building, dwelling, thinking'This course operates partially on the model of collaborative, student-centered, community-based learning. Themodel for project engagement (final project) is a liberatory research partnership known as Liberation Arts andCommunity Engagement (LACE) where the engaged learning environment invites co-teaching and co-learning withstudents and non-students across thresholds of race, gender identity, socio-economic status and language barriersor documentation status. To this end students will be asked to explore the nature of identity and have a workingunderstanding of the presence of privilege and power in their interpersonal interactions.Required TextsAll texts are excerpts of material primarily found in the public domain and available free of charge on Blackboard.
GESM 111 Syllabus, Fall 2016Performing Revolutionsp. 2Course Outline: (For detailed instructions, consult the assignment page on Blackboard)ASSIGNMENT COLOR GUIDES: WRITTEN RESPONSE READ ONLY READ & DISCUSS WRITTEN WORK ACTIVITY12WWeek OneCultural literacy: What is oppression? What constitutes a “revolution”?Ruptures, disruptions, interruptions of humanized experience – exploration of power, the power of culture and thecultures that support and oppress humanity. Who are we? How do we know who we are? Through whose eyesdo we view the world? What is “liberation”? What is oppression? Is a revolution simply an upheaval or undoing ofoppression? What constitutes real transformation? Class dialogues about rupture, collective ruptures, and culturalchallenges to the human experience.Pedagogy of the Oppressed – Ch 1, pp. 1–20 (Freire) – RESPONSETitle your submission:01.surname.freire.docxDue Thu, 8/25/16, by 8:00 a.m.Institutional Oppression Definitions (Cheney et al) – READDue Tue, 8/23/16, by 8:00 a.m.Quiz – White Privilege (McIntosh) – FILL OUT, BRING TO CLASSDue Thu, 8/25/16, by 8:00 a.m.Structural Analysis – Oppression (Hinson & Bradley) – READDue Tue, 8/23/16 by 8:00 a.m.Week TwoCulture and Imperialism: Intrusions and IntersectionsLook at culture and cultural narratives, especially imperialist narratives and emerging resistance to these withinsubaltern culture. What is the culture of oppression and empire? What role does memory play in how thisoppression is fueled by dominant power, and how does “culture” supplement, even co-author, this narrative?Culture & Imperialism –pp. xi – xxviii, & pp. 1-14 (Said) – RESPONSETitle your submission:02.surname.said.docxDue Tue, 8/30/16, by 8:00 a.m.NOTE: Professor will be absent September 1, 2016. No class that day.3Week ThreeResistance literacy: What is resistance?Understanding cultural difference can lead to new models of resistance, or liberation art. We will identify whatconstitutes “cultural difference” and how to navigate the progressive, liberatory change within thesecircumstances, including an introduction to the arts of culture jamming, cultural interruption or cultural rethappropriation and re-imagining. We will invite a brief overview of liberation theatre movements in 20 century.Staging the Politics of Difference, pp. 361-390 (Olson and Worsham)Title your submission:03.surname.bhabha.docx4Week FourWhat is a dominant message? What is hegemony? What is fragility?Investigation of images in contemporary culture – look at Media Literacy, artistic representations, commercialidentity, commodification of self. Class takes a look at colonized or co-opted cultural identity by how events in theUS history of human rights have, or have not, been represented through the lens of contemporary social media,with a specific focus on the history of the #blacklivesmatter movement. Students read opposing narratives fromrecent social media on race, privilege, cultural identity, and “white fragility,” and look at presumptions ofoppression from different perspectives. Whose interests are being represented in these narratives? Whose arebeing co-opted or framed/blamed? What is “truth” in these narratives?A Review of the U.S. Civil Rights Timeline: Black Lives Matter – REVIEWSUBMITTOGETHERDue Tue, 9/6/16, by 8:00 a.m.“Why I’ll Never Apologize Privilege” (Fortgang) – RESPONSE“Why White People Freak Out ” (Adler-Bell & DiAngelo) – RESPONSE“White Fragility is Racial Violence” (Shroyer) – RESPONSETitle your submission:04.surname.fragility. docxTue, 9/13/16Due Thu, 9/15/16, by 8:00 a.m.Due Thu, 9/15/16, by 8:00 a.m.Due Thu, 9/15/16, by 8:00 a.m.
GESM 111 Syllabus, Fall 20165Performing Revolutionsp. 3Week FiveStory-telling for social change: methods and stylesStudent engage in class exercise to gather and arrange images without jumping to conclusions. First experienceconducting a workshop using verbal, visual and physical images of persuasion and story-telling for social change.Class engages in a dialogue about commercial culture, art as an instrument of coercion or manipulation. Studentscreate mini-commercials in small groups and perform them in class. Exploration of disparate methodologies andstyles, including agit-prop, witness theatre, guerrilla theatre, documentary theatre, street theatre, etc.Yesmen Video: “YesMen Fix the World” – WATCHDue Tue, 9/20/16, by 8:00 a.m.Creative Outline / Presentation of Yesmen-esque Projects – PREPARETitle your submission:05.surname.yesmen.docxDue Thu, 9/22/16 by 8:00 a.m.CRITICAL PAPER I: 5 page paper – “ Culture, Oppression, & Cultural Change” DUE: Tue, 9/27/16, by 8:00 a.m.WRITE A FIVE PAGE CRITICAL PAPER with footnotes or endnotes in APA or MLA format on the theme“culture, oppression, & cultural change”. Look back at the material covered so far in class, and pick a personalexperience with which you have a particularly strong connection. How might you imagine this experience of yoursto be shared collectively by others, beyond just your personal world? How is it an event of cultural oppression, andhow might you imagine avenues towards cultural change?Title your submission:05.surname.paper1.docx67Week SixTheatre of the Oppressed – Performing Revolutions in Latin AmericaStudents learn basics of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed (TO), focus on analytical image. Class talk aboutepistemology – “how do we know what we know?” Class workshop on Image Theatre, followed by exploration ofthe history of Latin American movements such as TO and Teatro Campesino (California).3 Videos: Teatro Campesino; Pl. del Mayo; Zapatistas – WATCH, RESPONSETitle your submission:06.surname.3videos.docxDue Tue, 9/27/16 by 8:00 a.m.“My Three Theatrical Encounters” (Boal) – RESPONSETitle your submission:06.surname.boal.docxDue Thu, 9/29/16, by 8:00 a.m.Week SevenPerforming Revolutions in AsiaStudents engage in an exploration of Asian examples of theatre and social change, from South Asia (India – JanaSanskriti, for example), Southeast Asia (Thailand, Philippines, etc.), Central Asia (current work in Pakistan andAfghanistan), and contemporary performative art and social justice works elsewhere in Asia.“Spoiled Sons” (DaCosta) – RESPONSETitle your submission:07.surname.dacosta.docxDue Thu, 10/04/16, by 8:00 a.m.8 Week EightPerforming Revolutions in AfricaOverview, African theatre/social change, including: Nigeria; Rwanda; South Africa; Mozambique; and Senegal.“My Husband’s Denial” (Video) – WATCHTitle your submission:08.surname.mozambique.docxDue Tue, 10/11/16, by 8:00 a.m.“Art Talk with Thoko Ntshinga” – READTitle your submission:08.surname.mozambique.docxDue Thu, 10/13/16, by 8:00 a.m.Midterm Exam (Available after 10/13/16 by 9:30 a.m.)Title your submission:08.surname.midterm.docx9Due Thu, 10/20/16, by 8:00 a.m.Week NinePerforming Revolutions in Europe & AustraliaExploration of history of German workers’ movements (1800’s) leading to popular theatre in: Germany; France;UK; Belgium; and a Skype session with contemporary practitioners in Ukraine.“Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine” (Snyder) – RESPONSETitle your submission:09.surname.ukraine.docxDue Tue, 10/18/16, by 8:00 a.m.
GESM 111 Syllabus, Fall 2016Performing Revolutionsp. 410 Week TenPerforming Revolutions in the United StatesStudents engage in an extensive review of existing theatre for social change movements in the U.S., and look forexample at the use of puppets and pageantry for parade, protest, and festival theatre.“Speaking a Mutual Language” (Barton) – RESPONSEDue Tue, 10/25/16, by 8:00 a.m.Title your submission:10.surname.NPT.docxSatirical Video of Social Rupture (i.e. Daily Show) – RESPONSEDue Tue, 10/25/16, by 8:00 a.m.Title your submission:10.surname.satirical.docxPAPER TWO:5 page paper – “ Performing Global Revolutions”Due Tue, 11/1/16, by 8:00 a.m.WRITE A FIVE PAGE CRITICAL PAPER with footnotes or endnotes in APA or MLA format on the theme “performingglobal revolutions”. Look back at material covered so far, and pick a geographic location outside of the U.S. withwhich you have a strong connection. How might you imagine this to be a site for a creative, cultural, or artistic“revolution” of sorts? How has it been a product of global empire or oppression, and how might art intervene?Title your submission:10.surname.paper2.docx11 Week ElevenPerforming Revolutions in Los AngelesStudents explore the intersection of art and social change in LA, focus on the ethics the project. Who is invited toour project? Who’s left out? How will we evaluate our work after this is over? What are the ethics of REV art?“Devil in Hand” (Blair) – RESPONSEDue Thu, 11/3/16, by 8:00 a.m.Title your submission:11.surname.blair.docxDay Laborers (Video) – RESPONSEDue Thu, 11/3/16, by 8:00 a.m.Title your submission:11.surname.laborers.docx12 Week TwelveImagining and Designing the Revolutionary PerformanceStudents began planning and imagining their “revolutionary” performances for on or around the USC campus area.What ruptures speak most urgently to the class? Build teams, work together in groups, prepare and problematize.“Imago Logos Rep Action Eval” (Blair) – READ/REVIEWDue Tue, 11/8/16, by 8:00 a.m.“What is Representation?” (Blair) – READ/REVIEWDue Tue, 11/8/16, by 8:00 a.m.First draft, Class Rev Project – PREPARETitle your submission:12.surname.REVoutline.docxDue Thu, 11/10/16, by 8:00 a.m.13 Week Thirteen Problematizing and Preparing the Revolutionary PerformanceClass prepare to assemble group “LACE” projects on or near campus.REV Project Performative TreatmentTitle your submission:13.surname.REVtreatment.docxDue Thu, 11/17/16, by 8:00 a.m.REV Projects Prepared, Groups I & II (In Class Work – details worked out)Due Thu, 11/17/16, by 8:00 a.m.Implementing and Evaluating the REV Projects (I & II)14 Weeks Fourteen & FifteenClass present their prepared public theatre “Revolutionary projects” and evaluate their colleagues’ projects.15 Rev. Projects Performed, Group IDuring class on Tue, 11/22/16, from 8:00 – 9:20 a.m.THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24 IS THANKSGIVING. NO CLASS!Rev. Evaluation Reflections, Day I (EVERYBODY)Title your submission:14.surname.REVeval1.docxDue Tue, 11/29/16, by 8:00 a.m.Rev. Self-Evalution Reflection (“Group I” ONLY)Title your submission:14.surname.SELFeval1.docxDue Tue, 11/29/16 by 8:00 a.m.Rev. Projects Performed, Group IIDuring class on Tuesday, 11/29/16, from 8:00 – 9:20 a.m.Rev. Evaluation Reflections, Day II (EVERYBODY)Title your submission:15.surname.REVeval2.docxDue Thu, 12/1/16, by 8:00 a.m.Rev. Self-Evalution Reflection (“Group II” ONLY)Title your submission:15.surname.SELFeval2.docxDue Thu, 12/1/16 by 8:00 a.m.FINAL EXAM MEETING (Mandatory, all: share papers & evaluate course)On Tue, 12/13/16, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
GESM 111 Syllabus, Fall 2016Performing Revolutionsp. 5Grading:Presence and ParticipationReading Reflection Papers (1 page)Midterm Exam:First Critical PaperSecond Critical PaperLACE Project (Planning & Implementation)Fina