The course welcomes playwrights and other writers, choreographers and visual artists, and could be applicable to students in Sociology and American Studies. We’ll look at the work of artists like video maker Phil Collins, conceptual and performance artists including Paul Chan, Ernesto Pujol, Lola Arias and Ralph Lemon. We will also use the course as a way to ask questions about community-engaged creative processes and agreements. Where do we locate the ethics and responsibilities for those of us who engage communities with the making of our work? What does it mean to take responsibility for someone else’s stories, write them down, and give them back? What is it like to put the words of a stranger in your mouth? What are the relationships among form, content, collaborators, and venue?
In this course we will work on the nuts and bolts of collaboration, including scheduling and budgeting, sharing creative space, de-prioritizing one set of aesthetic priorities over another, recognizing shared and separate expertise. The course will include readings and case-studies, discussion, and perhaps a guest appearance. I would like to include some of the new community organizing approaches in the book Emergent Strategies by Adrienne Marie Brown, with whom I’m doing a workshop this summer, and who is an ideological descendent of Grace Lee Boggs.