Current and Future courses (extended abstracts at bottom of page)
Winter 2017
PFS 259 / DRA 253 – Larry Bogad – Approaches to Collaboration: Performance of Non-Fiction – Wed 10-12:50pm
PFS / DRA 265A –  Lynette Hunter –  M 2:10 – 5, Wright 220
PFS 259 –  Gina Bloom – Theorizing Media and Performance – W 2:10 – 5, 248 Voorhies
GSW 200A – Feminist Theory – Wendy Ho
GSW  – Beth Freeman (ENL) –
CRI 200A – Kris Fallon (CDM) – Approaches to Critical Theory –  Wednesdays, 2:10-5:00pm
ANT 210 – Cristiana Giordano (ANT) – Affect and Representation

Spring 2017


Fall 2016
PFS 200 – Fiamma Montezemolo (CDM) – (Core) Methods and Matters – Tue 2:10 – 5 PM
ANT 210 – Joseph Dumit (STS/ANT) & Joe Masco – Conspiracy/Theory – Wed 12:10-3 PM
ANT 201 – Tarek Elhaik (ANT) – Reading Ethnography – Wed 9-11:50 AM
GER 262 – Gail Finney – Studies in Turn-of-the-Century Culture – Wed 2-5 PM
CST 204 – Christina Perez (visiting scholar) – History and Theory of Sexualities
Art History 200A -Heghnar Watenpaugh – Visual Theory – Wed 2:10-5 PM
ANT ??? – Cristiana Giordano, Greg Perotti – Research, Narrative, and Performance – Weekends (see below)
SOC 292a -Laura Grindstaff – Field Methods – Wed 3:10-6pm
ENL 262 -Danielle Heard – Lady Sings the Blues: Blues, Literature, and Black Feminism


Winter 2016
PFS 259 – Lynette Hunter – Contemporary Performance
PFS 265C – Larry Bogad – Performance and Society
Fall 2015
PFS 200 –  Lynette Hunter – Methods and Materials in Theatre Research
Spring 2015
PFS 265B – Maxine Craig – Signification and Body
Winter 2015
PFS 265A – Lynette Hunter- Modes of Production
PFS 259 – Larry Bogad – Contemporary Performance

Fall 2016 Abstracts :
ANT 201: Reading in Ethnography – Tarek Elhaik –  Email: The course sets out with a careful reading of George Marcus’ and Michael Fisher’s book Anthropology as Cultural Critique, a watershed essay that boldly outlined the contours of an “experimental moment in the human sciences.” We will then engage in critical readings of selected ethnographies that examine a wide range of important topics and analytical issues in social and cultural anthropology. Emphasis will be put on how and why ethnographic writing has changed over time, especially in its relationship with contemporary theoretical explorations and concept-work. Careful attention will be given to articles and books that problematize questions of “form” and of research designs and fieldwork mise-en- scenes that have created frictions at the threshold between modernist and contemporary anthropology. We will look at these works through the lens of difference, i.e. what form of difference and how difference is encountered and generated during and after anthropological fieldwork.

GER 262 – Gail Finney – STUDIES IN TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY CULTURE – WEDNESDAYS 2-5 PM, Wellman 203 – CRN: 53273 – This seminar will be conducted on a two-track basis, so that students without a command of German may also participate: texts will be available in both English and German and class discussions will be conducted in English. Studies major modes and topics in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century German and Austrian literature and culture, such as the Naturalist attention to the worker as protagonist, the influence of Zola, the women’s emancipation movement, the femme fatale as topos, decadence and aestheticism, art nouveau, the figure of the dandy, and the roles of Freud, Wagner, and Nietzsche. Authors treated include Gerhart Hauptmann, Henrik Ibsen, Elsa Bernstein, Frank Wedekind, Robert Musil, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Arthur Schnitzler, and Thomas Mann.

CST 204 – Christina Perez (visting scholar) – History and Theory of Sexualities –  is teaching a course on sexualties in Cultural Studies – M 1:10 – 4:00 PM. Official blurb: Studies of sexuality in feminist, literary, historical, and cultural studies research, specifically examining the emergence of “sexuality” as a field of research and the relationship of sexuality studies to cultural forms, subjectivity, and social relations generally.
Art History 200A -Heghnar Watenpaugh – Visual Theory – Wed 2:10-5 PM, in Everson 148 – – Art History 200A: Visual Theory is a foundational course in the graduate study of Art History. It is designed for advanced art history graduate students, and those from other disciplines who wish to pursue visual studies. — This seminar is neither a history of art history, nor does it provide a menu of methods for the study of art history, even though history and method will be among our key concerns. Instead, this seminar emphasizes the relationship between the aesthetic theories that drive our field and the social history of the institutions that sustain it, including museums. The debates we will examine include: the nature of art history as a discipline, its key assumptions (for example: that some objects are art while others are not), the roles of the art historian (humanist, scholar, historian, connoisseur, expert, philosopher, archivist, linguist, archaeologist, authenticator…), the relationships between art history and allied disciplines (anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy), the critical importance of aesthetic philosophy, and the methods and language developed to interpret works of art. We will scrutinize art history’s evolving self-perception and its most cherished myths, its links to enlightenment and modernity, its relationship with technologies such as photography, its allied institutions such as museums and exhibitions, the workings of the art market. We will look at art history as a form of writing with clearly defined genres (the catalogue raisonné, the survey), and as a form of performance (the illustrated slide lecture, the technique of “compare and contrast”). In addition to reflecting on the hidden assumptions and histories of our discipline, we will also reflect on its resilience, transformation and even resurgence in the contemporary world. How and why does art history maintain its prestige and funding in education and government? What are the roles of art historians in the contemporary world? what do new trends in art history tell us about our discipline’s continuing engagement with the issues of our time?
ANT ??? – Cristiana Giordano, Greg Perrotti – Research, Narrative, and Performance – Weekends – email her at — 1) Learn the practice of Moment Work. This theatrical devising technique is a practice for working with non-theatrical source material (interviews, archival documents, medical and legal reports, various media sources, etc.) to construct narratives for the stage. Tectonic Theater Project, the originator of Moment Work, has used this technique in the creation of such plays as The Laramie Project, Laramie 10 Years Later, and The People’s Temple. All these plays were researched and developed for the stage by Greg Pierotti, who has taught devising through moment work for fifteen years. As part of the cluster, Pierotti will lead four two-day workshops, two in the Fall of 2016, and two in the Winter of 2017. Moment Work’s approach to non-theatrical source material (what anthropologists and sociologists would call ethnographic material, and historians life histories and archival material) has the potential to reveal new aspects of the data collected and analyzed by social scientists or by performers, playwright, and directors. What can we as social scientists and humanists learn when we “stage” our interviews and observations, as opposed to only write about them? How will our writing be affected by a performative understanding of our material? 2) Through practice in Moment Work and engagement with readings about performance and ethnography, we will also challenge traditional approaches to creating narratives in both social sciences and theater by devising narratives collaboratively from shared research material. This cluster is aimed at learning how to listen to, observe, and participate in social events and the stories produced by the people involved in them. At the same time, the laboratory part of this cluster provides tools to engage these events and stories theatrically as a way to analyze them (and later perform them in various forms of writing or performances). Using collaborative devising techniques, we will follow our intuitive hunches to investigate our research not only as scholarship but also through the grammar and syntax of the stage.
SOC 292a -Laura Grindstaff – Field Methods – Wed 3:10-6pm SSH 1291 (“the Boardroom”) CRN: 50546 – This course is designed to introduce graduate students to ethnography as a formal research method, drawing on case studies, “how to” materials, and writings from a variety of disciplines (mostly sociology, anthropology, and communication). We focus on the theory, logic, and practice of fieldwork, specific methodological and ethical issues associated with studying people at first-hand, and current debates about what constitutes the bounds and limits of the ethnographic enterprise more generally. This course builds upon basic knowledge of qualitative methods. If you lack such training, you might want to familiarize yourself with either Analyzing Social Settings: A Guide to Qualitative Observations and Analysis by John and Lyn Lofland (2006) or Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques, by Anselm Strauss and Juliet Corbin (1990). Analyzing the work of professional ethnographers will provide the foundation for students to conceptualize and develop their own research projects as well as gain an appreciation for the practices and politics of ethnography. For any second-year sociology students enrolled, this course, like the other methods sequences offered in the department, is a vehicle for making headway on your qualifying paper (QP) by producing a detailed research proposal. Research may entail observation, participant observation, interviews, or some combination thereof, and it may combine field research with archival or other documentary analysis as well as quantitative analysis. Students not engaged in original research and/or who are enrolled in the course simply to gain exposure to ethnographic methods will have the option of writing a term paper in lieu of a research proposal. Paper topics will be determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the professor.

Winter 2017  Abstracts
CST 214 – Caren Kaplan (AMS) -Wartime Atmospheres and Infrastructures – Tue 1-4 PM This seminar will inquire into theories of perception and the politics of representation in relation to the temporal and spatial disturbances of warfare in the aftermath of colonial and imperial conflicts. We will think through the limits and possibilities of genres and aesthetic formats in the context of unruly sense making, both proximate and remote. And, we will investigate histories and theorizations of built environments as dispositionally affiliated to the time and space of modern conflict.
CRI 200A – Approaches to Critical Theory – Kris Fallon – Wednesdays, 2:10-5:00pm – Location:123 Wellman CRN: 18328 – Description: This course will approach current debates around political violence, identity, subjectivity and representation by introducing the key theorists and issues that animate and underpin these discussions. Each week we will pair core texts from central figures including Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, Foucault, Heidegger, and Deleuze with essays from contemporary theorists including Judith Butler, Frank Wilderson, Jacques Ranciere, Frederic Jameson, Jacqueline Rose and Giorgio Agamben. Special attention will be paid to enduring concepts and questions which have and continue to structure theoretically engaged discourse including the constitution of the bounded subject, the role of ideology, the ground of critique, the problem of mimesis and representation and the shifting status of knowledge and experience. Though we cannot cover all of the ideas in a single quarter, students will be exposed to the major schools of thought which have structured the discussion and the stakes involved in their differences and delineations. – Tentative Reading List: Kant, 2nd Critique; Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit; Marx, The German Ideology and Capital I; Freud, Interpretation of Dreams, The Ego and The Id; Horkheimer & Adorno, Dialectic of the Enlightenment; Heidegger, Being and Time, “The Age of the World Picture”; Foucault, History of Sexuality v.1 and “Society Must be Defended”; Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, A Thousand Plateaus (with Felix Guattari); Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter, Precarious Violence; Frederic Jameson; Ranciere, The Names of History, “10 Theses on Politics”; Wilderson, Red, White and Black
Agamben, State of Exception; Rose, Sexuality in the Field of Vision

PFS 259 – Theorizing Media and Performance – Gina Bloom – Wednesdays, 2:10-5pm This course offers a primer for students interested in the intersection of performance with media, with some emphasis on digital media. But it also will provide a forum for more advanced students to develop rigorous methodological frameworks for their work in these fields. We’ll begin by reading some foundational works in media studies (e.g., McLuhan, Hayles, Bolter and Grusin), going on to examine the work of key performance studies scholars who have shaped multimedia performance, cyborg theatre, digital performance, and such (e.g., Auslander, Lehmann, Phelan); important recent historical surveys of the field (e.g., Dixon; Salter); and various theoretical approaches (Birringer; Case; Broadhurst; Parker-Starbuck).

For the second part of the class, we will work closely with the methodological frameworks for studying performance and media offered in Sarah Bay-Cheng, Jennifer Parker-Starbuck, and David Z. Saltz’s recently published Performance and Media: Taxonomies for a Changing Field. The book offers several possible taxonomies for theorizing the relationship between performance and media, and each of these presents a different framework for analyzing particular performance objects. E.g. Bay-Cheng suggests that we plot media and performance along the “axes of distortion in space, time, and bodies” (47). Parker-Starbuck focuses on the concepts of subject, object, and abject, arguing that these are attributes of both bodies and technologies, and she charts performances in terms of this taxonomy. Students will present to the class on a performance object of their choice: this can be anything from a production (including a production of the student’s own making), an object that does performative work on the theater stage (e.g. costume, props), a digital object (e.g. videogame, database), a practice (e.g. Meyerhold biomechanics, yoga), or a genre of performance (e.g. circus, poetry slam, puppetry). And each week, as we read about a different taxonomy for media-performance relations, we will test out its usefulness by applying it to student projects. Students will be encouraged to think about how their performance objects both support and resist these taxonomies as well as to develop new taxonomies that can contribute to the field of performance and media studies.

 ANT 210 – On Affect and Representation – Cristiana Giordano – Wednesday, 3:10-6 pmThis seminar explores the relationship between affect and representation, and provides a space to reflect on affect as a research and experiential modality of relating to worlds around us. Deleuze understood affect as force and intensity, as the capacity to affect and be affected, and as the experience of what emerges in the in-between of the potential and the actual.  As intensity, affect emerges in what passes from body to body, through objects, bodies and worlds at large. As Melissa Gregg and Gregory Seigworth put it, “Affect is in many ways synonymous with force or forces of encounter.” Based on these definitions of affect, we will reflect on the relationship between representation and affect in search for different ways of thinking about research, writing, and attending to the world. We will read the work of philosophers, anthropologists, and theorists of performance and the body. We will approach the texts through various practices of attention to their contents: reading, discussing, performing, drawing, writing, presenting, and other creative responses that will emerge in the collaborative process of being in a seminar together. The list of readings will be available by the mid of December. Books’ chapters and articles will be available on Smartsite, and when possible pdfs of books as well.