August 2009: Staging Citizenship, Performing Rights–Bogotá, Colombia

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Course dates

NYC sessions: August 3-8
Bogotá dates: August 16-29

Taught by Jill Lane, New York University, with Paolo Vignolo, Universidad Nacional de Bogotá

Course fee $800

The course is available for credit through the Department of Performance Studies at NYU, and for non-credit for students at Member Institutions. All students pay the $800 course fee. Fee includes registration to the encuentro and all related events and performances. Fee does not include flight, room, or board. See below for approximate costs.


Offered in conjunction with the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, this course explores the relation of culture and rights in the Americas, with emphasis on contemporary Bogotá, Colombia.

The course is organized in three segments: a week in New York City, where we introduce key readings and topics on performance, citizenship and cultural rights, especially in relation to Colombia; a 4-day mini course focused on performance and cultural rights in the city of Bogotá, Colombia, with an emphasis on struggles around public space; and the 10-day Hemispheric Institute Encuentro in Bogotá, focused on citizenship and cultural rights across the Americas. Please see for more detailed information on the Encuentro.

Our study of cultural rights is broadly structured around three themes: (1) the legacies of citizenship, focused on struggles over the definition, transmission and control of the past in the public sphere; (2) contemporary struggles over citizenship, focused on performative and discursive processes that practice citizenship as "equality in difference"; and (3) multi- and inter-culturalism and migration, focused on differential forms of citizenship in national and transnational contexts.

The course will involve a mix of scholarly talks, practical workshops, and site visits, and will emphasize dialogue across the domains of scholarship, art, and activism. The mini-course in Bogotá will involve walking tours of the city, talks with artists, activists, and scholars, focused on cultural politics and urban space. The Encuentro extends the three issues above into contexts across the Americas, offering performances, workshops, keynote lectures, and roundtables across these themes. Performances (still subject to change) include Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani (Peru), La Candelaria (Colombia), Mapa Teatro (Colombia), Guillermo Gómez Peña and Tania Brugera (US/Mexico, Cuba), Comadre Araña (Colombia), Astrid Hadad (Mexico), and Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya (FOMMA, Mexico), along with many others, including a range of street interventions and public art projects. Scholars presenting work include Mary Louise Pratt (US), Ximena Castilla (Colombia), Suely Rolnik (Brazil), Andreas Huyssen (US), Renato Rosaldo (US), and Nelly Richard (Chile). Practical workshops will be offered by artists and activists in a range of performance techniques.

Students will participate in every aspect of the course and will develop an individual area of critical inquiry that will guide their participation in the encuentro. Students will write a final paper-an intellectual itinerary through the course-on return to the US, to be shared as a public presentation to fellow students at the Hemispheric Instiute.

Knowledge of Spanish is preferable but not required. No previous performance experience is necessary.


The course is open to NYU students for credit, and to students from member institutions for non-credit. NYU students should prepare a one‐page statement outlining your interest and qualifications for enrolling in this course. Please submit statement to by May 29th, 2009.
Students from member institutions should send a query to

Approximate costs

A shared room at the encuentro hotel costs $35/night per person in a shared room, and includes daily breakfast. Roundtrip flights from NYC to Bogotá for August are presently between $400-$550.