Staging Catastrophe: Performance as Public Reckoning

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: The Arts

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Staging Catastrophe

Fall 2022

Taught By: Benjamin Gillespie

Section: A

CRN: 11857

Credits: 4

This seminar explores the potentially catastrophic “ends” of contemporary performance, the are, and dance through examining both real and fictional disaster narratives visible across these diverse art forms. Through aesthetic analysis, students will explore the root of catastrophe in tragedy, but also move beyond this designation; incorporating theories of catastrophe alongside cultural theory (queer, critical race,disability, and feminist theories), students will further contemplate the catastrophic imagination in contemporary age as it intersects with current cultural issues and global crises. Plays and performances will help to evidence how the depiction of human catastrophe engages audiences in moments of collective reckoning in environmental, political, and social collapse. We ask:How does catastrophe render visible the ends that are seemingly hard to imagine and yet present in our everyday lives? Through cross-disciplinary inquiry, this course explores instances of contemporary performance that challenge audiences and situate them within a decades-long conversation about humanity’s unique capacity for catastrophe. At the semester’s end, students will be given an opportunity to create an original work of performance in any medium that considers the problem of human catastrophe OR to compose an essay that analyzes an artwork of their own choosing. Students will be expected to attend a range of performance events around the city that engage with the course theme.Students will also engage with digital and video documentation of performances alongside critical theory and literary texts.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: The Arts (LARS)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 12, 2022 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 20, 2022 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 5:52pm 7/4/2022 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Tuesday, Thursday

Times: 2:00pm - 3:40pm

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

Date Range: 8/30/2022 - 12/15/2022