Reading & Composition
Wild Things: Wonder Women and Bad Girls in Performance and Media Arts
In this course we focus on women artists, female roles, female-like creatures, virtual representations, and the disciplinary practices that mediate their rich and extreme performativity. What is it about wild, feral, reckless, irrational, powerful, and fantastic acts by women artists that galvanize our imaginations and drive our responses of deep empathy? Drawing on Jack Halberstam's theories of wild and bewilderment and other theorists, we will examine the female characters and their extreme acts in animation, graphic novels/comics, musicals, plays, ballets, and hip hop and pop music videos. Our case studies move across a variety of cultures, time periods, and art practice disciplines. Within each case study, we will consider the complex intersections of gender, race, and class in and through all arts. We will compare examples from "traditional" art forms, such as Japanese kabuki and Beijing Opera, and female characters in early black and white films alongside digital VR installations and immersive time-based works. We will develop writing skills through a variety of essay types which lead to a researched, written, and presented essay. Deep reading and critical thinking are equal components in this course. We will have theatre, museum, and film showing experiences outside of classroom classes.