Crafting the “It Narrative” (DRA2181.01)

Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig

If a plastic duck could talk, what could it tell us about where it comes from and where it is going? What can we learn about labor, natural resources, extraction and global capitalism by researching and imagining the human and non-human worlds a single object has moved through?

In this interdisciplinary course we will enter the realm of object-centered storytelling through journalist Donovan Hohn’s book Moby Duck. From there we will explore science historian Donna Haraway’s work around the idea of object implosion and practice this methodology with objects of our own choosing. We will turn to works of poetry, theatre, animation and essays from the academic fields of New Materialism and Thing Theory for narrative and conceptual tools we can use to help us think deeply about our entanglements with objects and what our relationship to them can reveal. Finally, we will adapt our research into short theatrical works that continue our inquiry into these objects and communicate what we have learned and imagined to a general audience.

All but three class sessions will be delivered remotely over zoom. The three in-person sessions will be spread throughout the semester.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the course students will be familiar with a range of strategies they can use to interrogate an object in service of imagining the human and nonhuman realms it might have passed through. They will have written several short pieces of research-based critical writing that explore the upstream and downstream life of a single object. They will also have used this research to develop monologues, scenes and short plays inspired by their object investigations.

Delivery Method: Remotely accessible
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
Th 8:30AM - 12:10PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: Advancement of Public Action , All courses , Drama , Remotely Accessible