This course provides an introduction to some versions of theatre and performances (dances, celebrations) from Europe, Africa and Latin America from various time periods. It offers a sampling which will acquaint students with the study of dramatic literatures and performances in cultural contexts. We will evaluate historical, cultural, and performance specificities. We will explore how theatre and performances reflect and create cultural identities. Students will also explore various forms and modes of cultural interactions (e.g. intercultural borrowings and appropriations, transcultural and intercultural drama). Through our studies we will explore how theatre, and performances reflect and affect the social, political, philosophical, and economic structures of its society. In addition, the course will expose students to distinct cultures, and at the same time challenge them to think critically about the meaning of “culture” and “cultural identities” in our increasingly globalized contexts. The course will also sharpen students’ ability to articulate, verbally and in writing, their critical thinking about cultural and dramatic issues.
*Note: This class is delivered when lunch is served.
Field WorkCountry: Ghana
Date: October 28, 2019
The day will begin with the students traveling to Aburi about 16 miles from Tema, one of the numerous drum-making villages in the region, where they will observe artisans in the process of making drums, shakers, bells and other instruments. They will interact with the artists, experience impromptu music-making, and have the opportunity to purchase instruments.
After lunch, the students will travel to the W.E.B. Dubois Memorial Center for Pan-African Culture in Accra (20 miles from Aburi), where they will participate in a drumming and dancing workshop. The students will then attend a performance of the Afrique Dance Ensemble, and afterwards and interact with the drummers and dancers.
1. Identify the relationship between the product (what type of dances/celebrations and festivities are popular in Ghana), the perspectives (why/these celebrations are important in those communities) and the practices (how to incorporate the meaning of those activities in our view and understanding of culture)
2. Compare it to the ones you have seen in other ports and in your own community.