“Bold Bodies: Race in Feminist and Queer Performance”

Brown University, Spring 2022

This course defines minoritarian aesthetics in both content and style, underscoring the practices that remake the world from minor voices. This course understands theatre and performance as crucial for personal and community expression, political activism, and survival. We explore a variety of representation and performance techniques from the last sixty years—theatre and drama, modern dance, performance art, fashion, film, and music—from geographical areas including but not limited to the United States. Performances and theories spur discussions on topics such as body politics and sexualities, representation and spectatorship, understandings of race, and uses/limitations of performance in feminist/queer activism.

“Queering Feminisms”

Tufts University, Spring 2022

This course explores some of the major historical and theoretical developments in the fields of women’s, gender, queer, and trans studies over the past 100 years, focusing primarily on the post-Civil Right Movement period. Each class pairs readings with feminist, queer, and trans cultural expressions (film, television shows, theatre, poetry, music, and comedy, to name a few). Reading and video materials emphasize intersections with race, ethnicity, class, nationality, and other identity categories. We explore, critique, and question feminist and queer texts through in-class discussion and written responses. Students build their own feminist practice and learn to think about identities’ impact in contexts of power.

“Stages of Drama”

Emerson College, Fall 2021

This course is a survey of theater and drama from a variety of global traditions, with a particular emphasis on exploring how these works are informed by their historical, societal, and cultural contexts. We read selected plays and theoretical texts with an eye to examining dramatic form, theatrical style, and practice. We also view and discuss a number of performances, either recorded or live.

“Minoritarian Feminist Performance”

Northwestern University, Spring 2021

This course offers feminist, minoritarian, and comparative perspectives to the study of theatre and performance. Performance analyses proceed hand-in-hand with reading of seminal minoritarian feminist theories by authors and activists such as Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Maria Lugones, Gayatri Spivak, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, and Cherrie Moraga. We explore a variety of representation and performance techniques from the last sixty years—theatre and drama, ritual performance, modern dance, performance art, stand-up comedy, and new burlesque, among others—from geographical areas including but not limited to the United States. This course broadens students’ perspectives on what feminism is and what performance can do to advance feminist, minoritarian agendas.

“Theatre and Revolution”

Northwestern University, Fall 2020

Revolution never originates in a vacuum. As the Latin origin of the word suggests, revolutions “reflect upon the past” to change the future. In this course, we learn about the history of theatre in terms of “revolutions” or moments of change. How did audience behavior change once the proscenium stage was introduced? How did acting change once microphones became available? In parallel, we inquire about how theatre can be the catalyst of change in the world. How was the dramatic medium utilized to incite political discussion leading to the American Revolution? How did conceptions of race change with the introduction of blackface minstrelsy? And how did understandings of sexuality have changed since plays like Angels in America? We learn to reconstruct historical events from a variety of primary sources, and to read history with an eye towards how “revolution” as a hermeneutic can shape the way the historical narrative is constructed.

“Dancing Race”

Northwestern University, Spring 2019

Identity categories are visibly and palpably inscribed onto performing bodies. This course focuses on dancing bodies and their racial implications. How can dancing bodies in the theatre, in the club, and on the street convey ideas of race and racial politics? We cover dance styles and genres spanning from the 1920s to the present, and emphasize works by African American, Jewish American, and Asian American choreographers and performers. Readings are complemented by visual documentation and live performance, to help us develop specific vocabularies to describe, assess, and critique movement. This class introduces students to university-level research paper writing that incorporates performance analysis and secondary sources. This course mixes lectures, discussion, and writing to explore methods for theatre history and performance critique.