Why Bodies Matter: An Introduction to Dance Studies (DAN2348.01)

Levi Gonzalez

Even now, or perhaps especially now, the state of our moving and breathing bodies is critical to how we operate in the world. This course is open to students of any discipline who wish to explore the impact and implications of embodiment and its relationship to art, culture, politics and power. 

The course will introduce students to some of the principal concerns and approaches undertaken by Dance Studies scholars and will ask students to apply these concepts to real-world examples, critical analyses, and creative practice. Dance Studies is an emergent interdisciplinary field of academic inquiry that considers dance, corporeality and embodied experience as important and valuable forms of knowledge in the creation and distribution of cultural discourse. Dance Studies considers dancing bodies as cultural constructs and cultural agents, providing a crucial framework in how we understand intersectional categories such as gender, race, class, sexuality, physical ability, and national identity, among others. Dance Studies also challenges the authority of the written word and the concept of objectivity within academia by giving value to the often marginalized and under-represented knowledge of a great breadth of embodied experience.

This course will combine scholarly research with artistic practice and the viewing of artistic work that focuses on the body. Students will be expected to do a significant amount of reading, viewing video and performance documentation, and producing written and creative work, including a final research paper or presentation on the topic of their choice.

Learning Outcomes:
Students will:
• be exposed to the academic discipline of Dance Studies and the work of numerous scholars operating in the field.
• gain an understanding of the complexities and political dimensions concerning how dance is represented as a cultural practice via texts, archives, popular media and academic disciplines.
• familiarize themselves with and practice vivid description, choreographic analysis and auto-ethnography of dance and movement events.
• develop research methodologies to discuss and produce written, verbal and artistic cross-cultural analyses of dance practices and their impact on the larger culture.
• reflect on and expand their understanding of how dance and related physical practices have shaped their own world view.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Dance , Four Credit , Fully In-Person
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