Knowledge: after following this course …
- The student has general knowledge of and sharp insight into the relations between ritual, the body, the senses, performative arts and religion.
- The student knows the theories and most relevant authors in performance studies as presented in the handbook by Richard Schechner.
- The student knows the concepts regarding senses, body and embodiment as used in (sensual) anthropology, religious studies and ritual studies.
Skills: after following this course …
- The student is able to apply knowledge and insights to new case studies and report on them in a suitably academic style.
- The student is able to present a case study to peers and to receive and give feedback on a research design related to writing a final paper for the course.
- The student is able to write an academic paper, using literature from the course and beyond.
Character building: The student has gained a sensitive awareness of performance as a means of communication and as a way of meaning-making. This not only regards performances in the field of arts and ritual, but also gender as performance and religion as performance.
The assessment procedure is two-fold: a written exam and a final paper.
A performance is something done, something expressed; it means something, and it effects something. Both ritual and artistic performances use the body, the senses; they use symbols and imaginations to question, create and re-create culture. This course focuses on the performative character of rituals and the ritual dimension of performances.
In our exploration of ritual, performance and the body we give stage to several performances and rituals: the film Avatar, performances by Marina Abramovic, music by Joep Franssens, the game Bingo, video art by Bill Viola, commemorative rituals, online rituals etc. How do these performances and rituals impact on our bodies, how do they move the senses? In analyzing these performances and rituals, we will pay attention to several forms of ‘knowledge’: embodied knowledge through the performative impact, meaning-making through interpretation and ‘decoding’ of the symbolic language. Performances are not only an ‘expression’ of meaning, but also an ‘impression’ of meaning through the impact of sound, colors, light etc. For many, it is through the performative impact of art, performance and/or ritual that transcendence, sacrality or ‘the religious’ is experienced. In this course we will use insights from performance studies, ritual studies and religious studies.
Please mind: With less than 5 participants the course will be cancelled.