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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

TH 8120

TH 8120, “Arts-Based Action Research: Performing Civic Engagement”, taught by Professor Sonja Kuftinec will meet Mondays 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

TH 8120
*TH 8120 Arts-Based Action Research: Performing Civic Engagement*
*Mondays 3:30-6:30 Rarig 75/90***
How might graduate students with interests in public arts and civic engagement effectively and ethically develop dialogic relationships with communities of shared interest, location, and/or values? How might we contextualize arts-based civic engagement within a history of critical pedagogy (Paulo Freire, bell hooks, Miles Horton), decolonizing philosophies (Frantz Fanon, Aime Césaire, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Chela Sandoval), and contemporary civic arts practices (Augusto Boal, Suzanne Lacy, Zakes Mda, Judy Baca)? How do we connect this published critical history to practice-based theories generated within, around, and beyond the Twin Cities? This course invites an interdisciplinary cohort of students to build individual and communal praxis through participatory workshops, critical readings, reflections, and discussions. Together we will work out and critique reflexive methodologies in conversation with each other, with various critical theorists, and with local practitioners such as Marlina Gonzalez (curator of civically engaged digital storytelling/independent programs consultant for Intermedia Arts), Mona Smith (multimedia Dakota artist), and Sandy Agustín (artistic director with Neighborhood House St. Paul). We will focus on building practical facilitation and documentary skills, critical analyses and assessments, and dialogic relationships with community partners. Students will have the opportunity to work on their own ongoing practice-based research projects, to generate, and/or to support projects in collaboration with other students and local communities. Performance and/or visual arts experience is welcome but not necessary.
Prof. Sonja Kuftinec has worked with performance as a medium for community engagement, intercultural communication, and conflict transformation since 1989. Selected publications include /Staging America: Cornerstone and Community-Based Theatre/ (SIU Press 2003), numerous articles on ethics, activism, and the arts, and the forthcoming /Theatre, Facilitation and Nation Formation in the Balkans and Middle East/ (Palgrave Macmillan 2009).