Performance and Prowess in Southeast Asia

Category: Graduate Seminars
Course #: SSEASN 250 [CCN #31589]
Units: 4
Times and Locations:
T 4-7pm, DWIN225
This graduate seminar explores performance as a vehicle for the display and accumulation of power and prowess in Southeast Asia - from royal courts to law courts, temples to theatres.  We will examine (and question) prevailing paradigms of power and performance in Southeast Asian studies, through close studies of Burma, Cambodia, and Indonesia. We will briefly consider pre-colonial performance traditions, from court dance to puppet theatre, explore the impact of, and response to, British, French and Dutch colonialism through the lens of performance in Southeast Asia, and in the final stage of the course, consider more recent staging, screening and scripting of power.  Alongside recent scholarship on Southeast Asia, we will study primary sources in translation (e.g. theatre scripts, cinema, and court transcripts); and theories of colonial studies, performance studies, postcolonial studies.   Assignments include a series of short critical essays and an extended research project. Students will have two opportunities to present and workshop their research-in-progress before submission of their final paper.