Las Agencias protest fashion

Performance and Politics
in Latin America and Spain

NYU in Madrid: V95.9551.002
MW 9:30 – 10:50 AM Rm. C –6/7
Segre, 8
Dr. Jill Lane
Assistant Professor, Spanish and Portuguese
New York University

schedule of readings and assignments

assignments and evaluation


this document in pdf


This course examines the relationship between performance and politics, focusing specific cases in which theatre, performance, or public spectacle have been used to contest or control the political arena. We focus on specific paradigms and configurations of power throughout the 20th century to the present—legacies of colonialism, new forms of nationalism, dictatorship, and neoliberalism—and examine how theatre and performance function to support or challenge those social structures. In the process, we gain an introduction to theatre practice in Latin America and Spain, and to the issues that inform political theatre more broadly.

Required texts:
Books: Augusto Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed; and Holy Terrors: Latin American Women Perform, edited by Diana Taylor and Roselyn Costantino. These have been ordered at the bookstore “Pasajes” C/ Genova 3 (Metro: Alonso Martínez) Tel. 91 310 1245
Ariel Dorfman's Death and The Maiden has also been ordered for you; buy it here if you don't want to read it online.

Articles: available in course "packets" and/or online, as listed below.
For the "packets," please consult the NYU in Madrid Center for details on where to order and pick up your packet(s). You have two options: some articles are only available in a packet: this is "packet 1." Some articles are available online (free!) or in a packet: this is "packet 2." Please note: you have a limit on how many pages you can print at the NYU Madrid Center - don't count on printing out articles here! Find an alternate location, read materials online, or purchase the packet 2.
For articles online, you will need adobe acrobat, version 6.0 or higher, to access files online. Get a free copy here.

Websites: as listed below, only accessible online.

Required performances: We will be attending two productions that form part of the Festival de Otoño here in Madrid, Infamante Electra (Chile) on October 17, and Sizwe Banzi est mort (France/South Africa) on October 22. I will make every effort to secure group rates; please be prepared to pay for tickets early in the term.
We will attend at least one more performance during the term, pending availability and relevance to the course.

The course will be taught in English, but students may read texts and write papers in either English or Spanish, and are encouraged to read and write in Spanish as much as their present abilities permit.



schedule of classes and readings
All readings should be complete by the day listed on the schedule.

11.9 Introduction

Unit 1: Introduction to Performance and Politics

but complete first assignment (word document/handout) i
n relation to Ngugi wa Thiong'o, "Enactments of Power," from Penpoints, Gunpoints, and Dreams (Clarendon, 1998).

18.9 Performance, Politics
turn in first assignment;
and read: Holy Terrors, 311-330: Teresa Marrero, “Eso sí pasa aquí: Indigenous Women Performing Revolutions in Mayan Chiapas”
Coco Fusco, “Women and Power in the New America” (website, online)

20.9 Augusto Boal
Augusto Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed, “Poetics of the Oppressed”

25.9 Augusto Boal, workshop in class
Theatre of the Oppressed, continued.
Augusto Boal, Legislative Theatre (excerpt)

Unit 2: State terror and performance

27.9 Ariel Dorfman (Chile)
Ariel Dorfman, Death and the Maiden (pdf) or in Spanish: Muerte y la doncella (pdf) (You can also purchase Death and the Maiden at Pasajes bookstore)
Diana Taylor, Disappearing Acts,“Caught in the Spectacle,” (packet)

2.10 CADA collective (Chile)
Nelly Richard, "Margins and Institutions: Performances of the Chilean Avanzada" (packet)
and website on CADA: Repasos: Art and Life in Chile under Pinochet (online) by Antonia Thompson

4.10 Diamela Eltit (Chile)
Holy Terrors 105-134: Materials on Diamela Eltit

9.10 Griselda Gambaro (Argentina)
Información para extranjeros (pdf) / Information for Foreigners, Griselda Gambaro (packet)
Diana Taylor, Disappearing Acts, "Percepticide” (packet)

11.10 H.I.J.O.S./Grupo Arte Callejero
Diana Taylor, “You are HERE: The DNA of performance” (pdf)
Fernando Rosenberg, on Grupo Arte Callejero: Situating Rights (website, online)

16.10 Yuyachkani
Adios Ayacucho (pdf)
View video clip and review related materials on the Yuyachkani "cuaderno": cuaderno index - adiós ayacucho materials (online)

Tuesday, October 17
See Infamante Electra, de Benjamin Galemiri
Madrid. Sala Cuarta Pared. Tel. 91 517 23 17.
Días 17,18, 19 y 20 de octubre a las 21 horas.

18.10 Discuss Infamante Electra
Pick up take-home midterm

Sunday October 22
See SIZWE BANZI EST MORT, directed by Peter Brook; Text by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona. Performed by the company CICT-Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord at Teatro de La Abadía. Tel. 91 448 16 27.
Días 19, 20, 21 y 22 de octubre; 19, 20 y 21 a las 19.30 horas y22 a las 18 horas.

23.10 Discuss Sizwse Banzi est Mort
Turn in take-home midterm

Unit 3: Gender, Race, Nation

25.10 Teresa Ralli
Holy Terrors, 353-364: Introduction and “Fragments of Memory”
Antígona (pdf) and screen in class

30.10 Diana Raznovich
Holy Terrors, 25-92: Materials on Diana Raznovich
and Manual de instrucciones para mujeres maltratadas, by Diana Raznovich, and Diana Taylor, "Humor and Violence" (online)

1.11 Holiday – no class

6.11 Edward J. McCaughan, “Gender, Sexuality, and Nation in the Art of Mexican Social MovementsNepantla (pdf)

8.11 Jesusa Rodriguez
Holy Terrors: 209-244, materials on Jesusa Rodriguez

13.11 Astrid Haddad
Holy Terrors: 179-208, materials on Astrid Haddad

Final Project planning/discussion; exam review

Unit 4: globalization, neoliberalism, and performance

20.11 Zapatismo
Zapatista readings (online)
• Subcomandante Marcos, The Southeast in Two Winds: A Storm and a Prophecy – 1992
• Marcos, On Windows and Reality - March 2000
• Marcos, Durito on trains and pedestrians – Jan 2003
• Marcos, The Speed of Dreams – 2004

22.11 Zapatistas, continued

27.11 Digital Zapatistas
Jill Lane, “Digital Zapatistas” TDR (2003) (pdf)
Coco Fusco, “Online Simulations/Real Life Politics: A Discussion with Ricardo Dominguez on Staging Virtual Theatre” (pdf)

29.11 Las Agencias

Pick up final take-home exam

9.12 Final take-home exam due

12.12 Final Project Due / final project presentation
Final projects will be discussed at length in class. If you are involved in a performance project, expect to share your work with the rest of the class.



assignments & evaluation

• Three in-class project/presentations (15%), to be outlined in class
• Two take-home essay exams, a midterm and final (25% each)
• Final Project, can be collaborative (25%)
• Participation, Preparation (10%)
Perfect attendance is expected; missed classes will count against your final grade.




Theatre Spaces & Programming in Madrid
Interested in theatre in Madrid?
Consult these selected theatres & their websites for 2006-07 offerings.

Circulo de Bellas Artes
La Cuarta Pared
Sala Triángulo
Teatro Pradillo
Teatro Español de Madrid
Teatro de la Abadía
Teatro Madrid

Museo Nacional del Teatro – Almagro
Festival de Teatro Clasico en Almagro (held annually in June)

Arts/presenting spaces
La Casa Encendida
Fundación Juan March
Galería de arte espacio mínimo
El Ojo atómico

Arts events/listings:
Dirección General de la Promocion Cultural
Festival de Otoño – complete schedule and information