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The Black Arts Movement cancelled

ENGL 2850.401
also offered as: THAR 2850/AFRC 2852
MW 1:45-3:14pm

  This course examines the Theatre and Performance practices of the Black Arts Movement from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s.The Black Arts Movement (BAM) emerges in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Philadelphia among other locations, as a cultural component of the Black Power Movement, and its legacy continues to this day. BAM artists, poets, playwrights, musicians, dancers, producers, directors, and teachers, shared a goal to develop an alternative theatre based in Africanist and Black aesthetics combining poetry, music, and dance in a non-linear fashion allowing stories to emerge through alternative and abstract structures that are activist in nature. We will ground our examination of the period in a growing global black consciousness, as well as the relationship between black aesthetics and self-determination. The course will explore a breadth of mid twentieth century Black experimental theatre ranging from Jean Genet’s The Blacks and Imamu Amiri Baraka’s Black Arts Repertory Theater and School, to Ntozake Shange’s Choreopoems, and the performance poetry Jayne Cortez. The course culminates in the work of present-day performance artists that have taken up and evolved the form. The course is designed to incorporate theory and practice through play and poetry readings, movement investigations, student presentations of Theatre/Performance Artists, and viewing performances either virtually or in person. Students will develop either a choreopoem of their own or curate an imagined Black Arts Movement theatre festival or season.

English Major Requirements
  • Sector 2 Difference and Diaspora (AEDD)
  • Sector 6 20th & 21st Centuries (AE20)
English Concentration Attributes
  • 20th-21st Century Concentration (AE21)
  • Africana Literature & Culture Concentration (AEAC)
  • Drama Concentration (AEDR)
College Attributes