2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Apr 13, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ART 0241 - African Art: Ritual, Performance, and Theatre

Credits: 3

This course seeks to rethink the idea of traditional objects from the African continent as “art,” as defined in Western terms, and builds the argument that such objects are often connected to social theatre in the communities they represent. This course spans the continent of Africa, but also investigates black diaspora settlements around the world, to redefine our Western understanding of ritual and performance. Here, we will discover that “ritual” is not always cosmic or spiritual, but sometimes involves the intimate activity of body decoration, or hair-styling; that “performances” are a daily, central aspect of most black communities; that distinctly theatric elements of social performance are not only a part of masquerades, but also seen in traditional wrestling matches (and body design), ritual seclusion and fattening, and religious (or funerary) processions. This course is especially invested in addressing prevalent themes of performance in the African Diaspora (especially in the African-American culture), and understanding the many connections between diaspora performance and theatre to the visual arts of Africa.