How might engagement at the intersections of history, memory, performance and place support contending with the racist and exclusionary legacies that pervade Davidson's campus? How do the practice and theory of performance help us understand the unfinished business of history- "the endings that are not over," as sociologist Avery Gordon puts it? What are some ways to get at memories not captured by traditional documentary methods? How can we pursue an ethnography of a place, through performance? And in what ways can creative work devise new memories for our collective reckoning with the past and present, ultimately building toward other futures?

"History, Memory, Performance, Place" is a community-oriented practice-based course premised on these questions, aligned with the Justice, Equality, Community initiative. Students will explore submerged histories in Davidson's archives as well as local historical sites, and ultimately devise creative projects to share their research findings with different publics. Throughout the semester, we will conduct archival and site-specific research, engage in performance ethnography, think critically about the production of history, consider Black Studies and Performance Studies perspectives on the archive, and develop skills in expressing ourselves through movement and creative modes. Course time will be divided between reading and discussions in the Zoom classroom, embodied practices and creation, guest artist encounters, the Davidson College Special Collections and local sites of interest. The course is open to all students who desire varied forms of learning and engagement, no particular experience necessary.

Synchronous meetings (online) are very highly recommended for success in this course. We will begin meeting via Zoom, but might gather safely later in the semester depending on pandemic circumstances and class size. Students taking class remotely will be accommodated.

Satisfies Africana Studies major requirement.
Satisfies Anthropology major and minor requirement.
Satisfies Dance Studies minor requirement.
Satisfies History major and minor requirement.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement. 


Class Details
Course DAN 252
Section 0
CRN 60155
Time T R
Time 0245 - 0400pm
Instructor Dasha Chapman
Max 15
Current 5
Remaining 10
Semester Spring 2021