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Featured Courses

Fall 2014
 

210A: Performance Studies I

Prof. Tim Good

Theater and the Natural Environment
Students will delve into topics of theater, performance, history, and anthropology related to Environmental Studies, including plays, films, historical studies, and memoirs.  The students will study plays and performances that illustrate how a people's connection to their natural environment forms the values and relationships.  These readings will be supported by performance theory from each of the traditions.  We will trace the history of performance globally, to understand how theater and performance reflected changing attitudes of the societies from which they sprung.  The course will also investigate areas where there could be crossover with other arts related to nature, such as Romantic painting and nature writing.  By examining theater pieces from different times and cultures, the student will understand how personal decisions in specific social contexts added up to create our current state of environmental awareness (and lack thereof).  The overarching thesis of the course is that we can choose to nurture an empathetic and healthy relationship with our natural environment.


Comm 291A: Theatre Culture & Society

Professor Tim Good

Critical analysis of the ways in which humans produce and re-produce culture through theatre.  Live performances and historical performance descriptions are considered as texts to be “read” within cultural contexts, alongside mediated events, such as film, television, or novels.  The course will consider the same narratives from different points of view, such as theatre, newspaper accounts, television, radio, film and fiction.  Narratives to be considered from these different points of view include Faust stories, Antigone stories, and the real-life lynching of Leo Frank in 1915.
 

Comm 328A: Tps. Conflict Communication

Professor Jennifer Adams

In this class, we will explore the communication and conflict surrounding “the environment,” with a focus on the social construction of nature and critical/cultural approaches to environmental discourse.   Policies and practices related to the environment result not just from the facts from science alone, but often emerge from the influence of our social constructions about our “natural resources.”   We will consider the ways that wilderness and nature have been constructed in American culture, the public controversies that have developed surrounding the environment, the advocacy groups that advance various environmental causes, and the scientific and corporate discourse about the environment.  We will also consider the role of media in the ongoing discourses about the environment.