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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

WGSS 40.06 Race and Memory: Feminist and Queer Performance Against Disavowal

“The past does things.” These words were written by José Esteban Muñoz in his 2009 text Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. This course offers an opportunity to explore how past histories of domination continue to emanate into the present. Through the lens of feminist and queer of color performance, we will engage a diverse array of aesthetic forms—including performance and installation art, literature, poetry, film, music, and new media— in order to learn how cultural practitioners use the arts to sustain life in a world framed by overlapping legacies of white supremacy, colonialism, capitalism, and heteropatriarchy. Our readings and materials will be interdisciplinary, spanning gender and queer studies, critical ethnic studies, American studies, and performance studies. Traversing 20th and 21st century cultural production, each week will be organized around artists and writers who actively engage the concept of memory as a political act against the denial or disavowal of violence. We set out to understand the social, political, and economic contexts in which artists create their work, addressing issues of race, gender, sexuality, nation, class, ability, and environmental decay. In doing so, we come to more intimately know how performances of time, memory, and trauma include a fervent belief in the potential of queer and feminist possibility. Throughout the term, students will participate in critical, creative, and collaborative assignments that will develop critical thinking, writing, and interdisciplinary engagement.

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:INT or SOC; WCult:CI

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.