African Theater and Performance
General Catalog Course Title:
Performance and Culture
Terms Offered:
Spring 2013
Fall 2010
Fall 2009
Course Thread: 
Human Rights
Instructor: 
Cole, Catherine

Playwrights and performers throughout Africa have responded very differently to the tumultuous social changes wrought by colonialism and its aftermath. Some have used European languages to engage Western ideologies and literary conventions in a dialogue with African knowledge systems and oral traditions. Other artists perform exclusively in African languages while freely appropriating Western theatre conventions such as proscenium staging. Using source materials that are neither "traditional" nor "modern," "African" nor "European," but a complex amalgamation of influences, African performances defy these limited but nevertheless tenacious dichotomies. This course will examine a range of African performance forms, including theatre, dance, music, oral traditions, storytelling, masquerading, and ritual. No prior knowledge of Africa is required.

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.