ANS 384 • Theater, Gender, and Performance in South Asia
4:00 PM-7:00 PM
This graduate seminar will examine the interlinked phenomena of female performance and female impersonation in South Asia. Historical and ethnographic studies as well as contemporary cultural critiques of "women" in music, dance, and theatre will be the focus. The seminar will consider both gender formation in the colonial period and its reworking in recent times. Theoretical frameworks drawn from feminist theory, literary criticism, and performance studies will be juxtaposed with materials specific to South Asia, including ethnographies, autobiographies, plays and films. Reflective viewing of films and live performances will provide an important supplement to the required readings.
Two research papers, one primarily devoted to a historical topic, the other engaging with current gender and cultural politics: 80% Two brief oral reports on films and performances: 10% Leading discussion of seminar readings: 10%
Sumanta Banerjee, "Marginalization of Women's Popular Culture in Nineteenth Century Bengal" Rimli Bhattacharya, Binodini Dasi: My Story and My Life as an Actress, and Public Women: Early Actresses of the Bengali Stage Sharmila Rege, The Hegemonic Appropriation of Sexuality: The Case of the Lavani Performers of Maharashtra Kishore Shantabai Kale, Against All Odds Satish Alekar, Begum Barve Kathryn Hansen, Making Women Visible: Gender and Race Cross-Dressing in the Parsi Theatre, and Grounds for Play: The Nautanki Theatre of North India Mahesh Dattani, Dance Like a Man Avanthi Meduri, Bharata Natyam: What Are You? and Can the Devadasi Speak? Amrit Srinivasan, Temple Prostitution and Community Reform Rustom Bharucha, Chandralekha: Woman, Dance, Resistance Susan Seizer, Stigmas of the Tamil Stage Tutun Mukherjee, ed. Staging Resistance: Plays by Women in Translation Amrit Srinivasan, Temple "Prostitution" and Community Reform Rustom Bharucha, Chandralekha: Woman, Dance, Resistance Susan Seizer, "Roadwork: Offstage with Special Drama Actresses in Tamilnadu, South India"