Course Description
Unit 1
Unit 2
Unit 3
Unit 4
Unit 5
Who's Who
Events Calendar
Web Resources
Discussion Forum
Group discussion
Web Design


Anthropology G14.3398
Performance studies H42.2406

Performance and/of Indigeneity
Professors Taylor and Myers

Course offerings:
Profs. Diana Taylor (Performance Studies & Spanish) and Fred Myers (Anthropology)
ASU: Tamara Underiner (Theatre and Performance Studies)
UNI-RIO: Zeca Legiero (Theatre Studies, NEPAA)

Course Sections/Seminars:
PUCP: Gisela Canepa (Anthropology)
U. Manitoba: Peter Kulchyski (Native Studies)

Graduate Assistant: Maite Málaga-Iguiniz, mmi212@nyu.edu
Technical/Web Questions: Alexis Lloyd, alexis.lloyd@nyu.edu

This team-taught course bring anthropological, Native studies, theatre, and performance studies approaches into conversation to investigate the many ways in which performance both creates and transmits a sense of indigenous cultural identity and memory. We explore a broad range of State and individual practices—from pre-Conquest displays of power (Aztec architecture and sacrifice) to individual healers and ritual specialists (shamanism), to pilgrimages and processions (i.e., vision quests and festivals) that define communities. We look at rituals, corporeal practices (i.e., gestures, greetings, bodily presentation), spoken utterances (i.e., ethnopoetics, jokes) and religious ceremonies across various parts of the world as acts of transfer, passing knowledge from one generation or community to another. We examine contemporary public practices, such as theatre, touristic and museum display, that serve as important sites for the negotiation of meaning within and between cultures. The course includes films and documentary videos.

This course is taught under the auspices of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. Although the course is taught as a conventional graduate seminar, it is being taught simultaneously at NYU, the National University of Mexico (CRIM), and Arizona State University, with specialized seminars offered at the University of Rio de Janeiro (UNI-RIO), Pontifica Universidad Catolica del Peru, and the University of Manitoba. Each course follows a similarly structured syllabus, and shares an essential reading list, encouraging a comparative focus. The courses and seminars will be coordinated through a shared website, which houses course readings, translation software, and other material related to the course. Each group/course will be expected to prepare an annotated bibliography on their area of expertise to post online. In addition, students from all participating institutions are expected to engage in an ongoing discussion, collaborating with students and faculty from the other institutions.


The class requires active class participation. Please let us know if
you will miss a class. In addition to class participation, students are
responsible for weekly readings and postings to the course discussion forum.
The class requires a written final paper (12-15 pages) and a
collaborative web project. Computer workshops are available to help
students prepare for the web components of the course.

Required Books (at NYU Bookstore)

Blondin, George. Yamoria, the Lawgiver: Stories of the Dene.
Connerton. How Societies Remember.
DeLoria, Phillip. Playing Indian.
Larry evers and Felipe S. Molina. Yaqui Deer Songs/Maso Bwikam.
Sahlins, Marshall. Mythical Histories and Metaphorical Realities.
Taussig, Michael. Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man.