Charles O. Anderson
Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and of Theatre and Dance
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office: WIN 1.142
- Campus Mail Code: D3900
AFR 317F • Race, Rhythm, And History
MWF 1200pm-100pm SZB 526
This course is a survey of cultural production by choreographers of African descent in the U.S. and the African Diaspora from the 20th century to the present, as well as and examination the ways “black aesthetics” have been embodied and challenged in the cultural products themselves. We will examine texts and performance footage from different periods of the long Civil Rights Movement and take stock of the way historical contexts, along with factors concerning subject position, shape (but does not determine) artists’ and intellectuals’ responses to the idea of a “black dance” In other words, we will explore the ways that the notion of ‘blackness’ has been and continues to be constructed, commodified, challenged, and reconceptualized in performance and other contemporary artistic forms. The course will consider the mutual impact that arts and social movements have on each other. The historical and theoretical materials will be contextualized by guest lectures, discussions, and performances involving visiting scholars, artists and activists. Please bear in mind that like the course, this is a document in process. It will evolve as we begin exploring the what’s, why’s, how’s and when’s of Black Dance.
*African Dance by Kariamu Welsh-Asante *African American Concert Dance: The Harlem Renaissance and Beyond by John O. Perpener *Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance by Thomas DeFrantz
Participation - 10%
Analysis Questionnaires - 25%
Midterm - 20%
Final - 20%
Final Project - 20%
AFR 372E • Kinetic Storytelling
MW 330pm-500pm WIN 1.134
Kinetic Storytelling is defined in this course as a mode of devising dance-based theater that is at once highly structured compositional improvisation (or precision choreography), lyrical word-weaving, graceful, poetic and explicitly informed by Africanist aesthetics. Influenced by the compelling issues of our day, by leaders and instigators of change and revolution, we will explore how to speak through our art approaching dance-theater-making as a practice of social justice and a metaphor for testimony. Over the course of the semester we will each find an issue that speaks to us and experiment with ways to craft a movement-based performance that expresses a specific point of view informed by Africana and Dance Studies and that draws out questions about our chosen issue or effort.
AFR 387D • African American Concert Dance
TTH 100pm-230pm WIN 2.116
Through an exploration of an array of socio-political and movement contexts that have informed and influenced African American concert dance practices, this course will be asking: What is African American Dance aka Black Dance? What conflicts arise when African American dance forms become public domain? Must the ‘Black’ roots of a particular dance be reaffirmed publicly, even after that dance has become popular in the ‘White’ world? Must the Black choreographer make aesthetic/artistic adjustments when choreographing works targeted for mainstream (aka White), rather than Black, audiences? This studio/lecture course will use these questions as a platform to explore the ways the social construct of race in general and the concept of “Blackness” in particular have been embodied, challenged and/or intersected with the development and evolution of American performance in general and concert dance specifically since the turn of the 20th century. There are no movement pre-requisites for this course but it will require consistent attendance, considerable reading, and a willingness to move.