2013

The following UTeach classes were taught during Spring 2013, under the leadership of Alexandra Lossada and Colleen Bromberger. Please click on one of the links below to be redirected to the course description of the course, including a biography of the instructor and class listing. Following webreg.uci.edu, you may also find the follow courses listed in Spring Quarter 2013 under the University Studies Department, course number 7, some of which listings may link to class websites.

Prose Poetry
Defining Cult
Decrypting Weird Fiction and Lovecraft
Biology Controversies
Wives and Whores
Violence in World Myths and Fairy Tales
Swear Words and Society
The Science and Craft of Coffee
Writing the South
Nonviolent Social Change
Women in Sitcoms
Environmental Crisis Studies
Exploring the Vampire
Modern Day Dystopia
Introduction to American Sign Language
Remembering and Advancing Brown vs. Board of Education
Chinese Popular Music and Society
Sex Trafficking
China’s Economy
The Performance of Identity

Prose Poetry


Biography
Hello, everyone! My name is Pheobe Bui. I am a fourth-year English major with a creative writing emphasis in poetry, as well as an editor-in-chief for our university’s undergraduate creative writing journal New Forum. Aside from books, I spend most of my time enjoying my family and friends, flora and fauna, and art! I know that poetry may seem complicated, difficult, and obscure, but the purpose of my introductory course is to help you make sense of and access its beauty.

Course Description:
Let’s throw light upon the modern and widely-contested genre of poetry called “prose poetry.” What is “prose poetry”? American poet David Lehman offers, “The best short definition of a prose poem is a poem written in prose rather than verse.” If prose is the ordinary form of written language, and verse is writing arranged into lines, prose poems seem to blur strict boundaries.

In ten weeks, explore how the sentence and paragraph act the part of the line and the stanza; how poetic intent imbues prose with a power of significance it would not have otherwise; and how the prose poem differs from flash fiction, prose vignettes, and their many wordy friends. Discuss poems by Wallace Stevens, Gertrude Stein, Charles Simic, Gary Young, Killarney Clary, and many more. Discover poesy in their starry nights, landscapes leveled by light, quiet streets, open air crowded by trees, and other familiar places containing seemingly mundane objects – a coffee cup, a typewriter, a drawing.

Enrollment Information:
Time: Tu 4:00 – 4:50p
Place: HH 232
Course Code: 87631

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Defining Cult


Biography:
Hey there! My name is Colleen Bromberger and I am a 4th year History major with a double minor in Religious Studies and Global Cultures. I am extremely interested in the role that religion plays in modern society, and I first began my research in new religious movements during my freshman year for my Humanities Core research paper, which explored the importance of Jim Jones’ rhetoric in persuasive actions towards the People’s Temple. Besides being a UTeach seminar leader for the second year in a row, I am also one of the UTeach Co-Commissioners for the 2012-2013 year, the Associate Entertainment Editor for the New University newspaper and a General Assistant at UCI Extension’s Custom-Designed International Programs. In addition, I am currently working on a project for UROP entitled “Geography and the Success of Sweden’s Secularization,” in which I will explore how the uniquely isolated location of Sweden is a main factor in its lack of religiosity. After graduating this spring, I will be attending King’s College London for a Master’s degree in Religion in Contemporary Society. I can’t wait to meet you all in the spring!

Course Description:
The term “cult” often denotes odd, unusual or satanic images; however, very few people actually know, or understand what a cult is. This seminar aims to create a definition through comparing several current connotations of the term, as well as focusing on eight different religious groups, that will allow students to create a well-rounded definition by the end of the course. Classes between week two through nine will each focus on different American groups that have been deemed as “cults” in one aspect or another: discussed movements include Scientology, People’s Temple and Heaven’s Gate. At the end of the course, students will be expected to understand a popularly misconstrued term, as well as be well-versed in eight American groups that had/have cult-like tendencies. This seminar requires only participation and attendance for a passing grade.

Enrollment Information:
Time: W 11:00 – 11:50p
Place: DBH 1427
Course Code: 87632

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Decrypting Weird Fiction and Lovecraft


Biography:
I am a third-year English and Classics major with a passion for the intersections of the two disciplines. My research has recently revolved around the relationship between travel literature and national authenticity, namely in relation to a selection of H.P. Lovecraft’s works. I am also interested in the recent popularity of Lovecraft’s works, which has taken on reincarnations in diverse forms ranging from board games such as Arkham Horror to internet forums, particularly Reddit.com. My research, which supplements the class, is very much indebted to the counsel and advice of my mentor and research adviser, Dr. James Steintrager, is sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and the Library-UROP Research Fellowship (LURF) and owes many thanks to the Lovecraft Collection in the John Hay Library at Brown University.

Course Description:
What is the Weird? Can Lovecraft be considered a canonical author in the American Gothic tradition? This course will briefly examine these questions and look at the value of Weird fiction in Lovecraft’s works. Broadly speaking, this course aims to enrich the reading of popular works with critical skills and to explore the realm of “unspeakable” horror. Texts will range from the very popular “Call of Cthulhu” and “Herbert West: Reanimator” to some less popular works including “The Outsider” and “The Thing on the Doorstep,” which will also involve a brief sampling of surrounding authors from Edgar Allen Poe to Algernon Blackwood. Some of the important topics for the class include the horror-terror binary, Orientalism, authenticity, and issues of race. Throughout these various subjects and readings, the course will constantly ask whether a generic structure (i.e. a genre) emerges from Lovecraft’s works and how superstition and horror relate and construct the human being.

Enrollment Information:
Time: M 4:00 – 4:50
Place: HH 142
Course Code: 87633

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Biology Controversies


Biography:
I am a fourth year Biological Science major and am interested in entering the medical field. I have had many biology courses that have briefly touched on each of these topics; therefore I became interested in spending more time on analyzing these hot topics. I do research in biology and work as a scribe at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center. On top of that, I love drinking coffee and also love to sleep and dance! This course will be exploring a variety of topics that have become areas of hot debates in the science field. Introduction to many topics will be discussed, and the relationship between science, society, and government will be reviewed.

Topics include:
Human Genome Project, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, medical marijuana, research on homosexuality, and FDA approval for Flibanserin-a pill for the female sex drive. Students will be able to understand different points of views, and further make decisions based off of evidence and research. This course is designed to engage students in the material and provide an open form of discussion. Be ready to learn with an open mind, and be excited!

Enrollment Information:
Time: Tu 9:00 – 9:50
Place: HH 236
Course Code: 87634

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Wives and Whores:
The Sexuality of Renaissance Venice through Painting


Biography:
My name is Tessa Frey, and I’m a fourth-year art history major at UCI. I am a total book nerd who works at Barnes and Noble and loves to bake yummy desserts, run, and enjoy the sunshine. I am currently doing a thesis through the Humanities Honors Program on female portraiture from the Venetian Renaissance, and am looking forward to sharing my passion for art and history with you!

Course Description:
This seminar will explore the Renaissance in Venice, specifically how sexuality and gender roles were expressed through representations of women. Special focus will be given to the works of Titian, Tintoretto, and Lorenzo Lotto. Through these female representations from the Venetian Renaissance, we will explore stereotypes, popular knowledge, and gender roles through history. Ultimately, this class will encourage students to both question what they know about history and develop a cultural awareness as well as an appreciation for art.

Enrollment Information:
Time: Tu 9:00 – 9:50
Place: HH 232
Course Code: 87635

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Violence in World Myths and Fairy Tales


Biography:
My name is Michael Ko and I am a 4th Comparative Literature Major with a History minor. I have always been interested in human conflict and the expression of aggression and force in culture, history, and society. My projects have included examinations of violent realities in samurai films, violence as an economic exchange in Japanese manga and Chinese manhua, and military organizations in the military histories of East Asian countries. These books, films, comics, and historical texts have greatly influenced my personal pursuit of fiction writing and martial arts. I hope to impart in my students not only knowledge but passion for these fascinating tales.

Course Description:
Violence exists in the history of every society. Entire civilizations were founded through the interaction of human conflict by means of conquest, unification, or rebellion. This class will focus on the myths of Northern Europe and Eastern Asia and the central emphasis will be on the stories, characters, and ideals of violence. We will look at the historical context of these myths as well as how their ideas, images, beliefs, and cultures have survived and been adapted into modern society. As we read these tales we will stand in awe at Odin, the God of Battle who decides the fates of Viking warriors and whether they live or die through battle. We will decipher the wisdom of Sun Tzu and consider how the language of his Art of War could be expressed so gracefully yet carry such ferocious militant intent. We will look at the might of great warriors whose sole pursuit in life is honing their martial prowess. As we marvel at these astounding feats we will continually return to the questions concerning violence. What were the goals of these warriors and violent gods? What were the results of their violent acts? And is violence a spectacle, a necessity, or an undeniable aspect of human culture?

Enrollment Information:
Time: W 3:00 – 3:50
Place: HH 156
Course Code: 87636

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Swear Words and Society


Biography:
Hey! My name’s Roshan Sharma, and I’m a third year undergrad majoring in Psych & Social Behavior with a minor in Philosophy and Informatics teaching a class on Swear Words & Society!

Course Description:
I wanted to teach a course on a topic of taboo because I strongly feel that our understanding of what we’ve grown up avoiding is largely misunderstood. Swear words have a centuries old history, scientific value, and live in almost any conversation you can find on campus. Before we evaluate people on their use and its prevalence in society, we’ll explore its context in a brief introduction to swear words across media, law, and philosophy in an effort to make more informed judgments about them.

Enrollment Information:
Time: M 1:00 – 1:50
Place: DBH 1425
Course Code: 87637

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The Science and Craft of Coffee


Biography:
My name is Matthew Gosen and I am a 3rd year Biology major. I am absolutely obsessed with coffee and I have been drinking it constantly for the past five years. My favorite activity is to visit different coffee shops and sample their various selections, whether it is Blue Bottle Coffee or Ritual Coffee Roasters in San Francisco or Portola Coffee Lab here in Orange County. I also enjoy roasting my own coffee because I get to see the different flavors that come out of different coffees at various roast profiles. I look forward to discussing about coffee with my students.

Course Description:
In this course we will talk about the coffee making process from growing of the coffee plant to harvesting, processing and roasting of the coffee seed. Students will learn how to roast, grind and brew fresh coffee at home and we will use flavor chemistry to explain what makes a cup of coffee taste a particular way. Other topics we will discuss will be about the physiological effects that coffee causes and whether drinking coffee is harmful to your health. At the end of the seminar students will be able to make a cup of coffee at home that they can enjoy and be well on their way to becoming a certified coffee aficionado.

Enrollment Information:
Time: Tu 2:00 – 2:50
Place: DBH 1422
Course Code: 87638

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Writing the South


Biography:
Greetings. My name is Alexandra Lossada, 4th-year English major with a self-proclaimed emphasis in 20th-century Southern fiction. When I am not fulfilling my duties as UTeach Co-Commissioner, I am usually in a corner of the library simultaneously agonizing over and taking pleasure in the fruit of my intellectual labor: my Humanities Honors Tennessee Williams thesis project (and yes, research and writing unleashes the oddest contradictions). If not in the library, I am usually advising students and drawing posters in the Humanities Undergraduate Office as a Peer Academic Adviser. If not in the office, I am at my apartment, crying over graduate school applications and fantasizing about my impending teaching English abroad experience in Asia.

Course Description:
What do you see when you think of the American South? You might recall Gone with the Wind’s Scarlett O’Hara surrounded by her flock of beaux or the uneasy juxtaposition of the past (Blanche Dubois) with the modern (Stanley Kowalski) in A Streetcar Named Desire. The idea that we have developed about the South often stem from books, movies, cultural mannerisms, and other ways that construct the South not as a geographical region, but as a concept. I am endlessly fascinated by this idea: “Generations of Southerners have, I believe, been engaged not so much in writing about the South as in writing the South; they have, whether they have known it or not (and, as a matter of fact, many have known it) been busy reimagining and remaking their place in the act of seeing and describing it” (Writing the South xiv). In this seminar, we will examine and ‘map’ the South by way of the short story. In ten weeks, we will cover the following topics: Labor, Lynching, Women, Miscegenation/Incest, and Passing. An African American writer and a white one will address each topic.

Enrollment Information:
Time: W 2:00 – 2:50p
Place: DBH 1425
Course Code: 87639

DISCLAIMER: This class contains sensitive material and language.

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Nonviolent Social Change


Biography:
I will be graduating this Spring as a Political Science major and Conflict Resolution minor. I am a certified trainer of Dr. Martin L. King’s philosophy of nonviolence and have given trainings in parts of US and abroad. My interest in studying nonviolent social movements stems from the last conversation my mentor Dr. Bernard LaFayette had with Dr. King, in saying that nonviolence needs to be institutionalized. I’m teaching this course because I believe it starts with our school system and the further development of peace studies courses.

Course Description:
This course will highlight nonviolent methods, practices and theories. The objective of this course is to give students a deeper understanding of the fundamental principles behind nonviolent social movements of the past and present. Students will study the use of nonviolent methodology through the history of the Indian Independence Movement, Apartheid South Africa, and the Civil Rights Movement and their perspective key figures Mohandas K. Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King. Lastly, this course will also cover the evolution of current nonviolence practices by examining current nonviolent social.

Enrollment Information:
Time: W 11:00 – 11:50
Place: SST 238
Course Code: 87640

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Women in Sitcoms:
I Love Lucy to Parks and Recreation


Biography:
My name is Adrienne Nguyen, and I am a fourth year history and anthropology double major. When I am not reading dubiously self-proclaimed novels, eating an alarming amount of food, or singing with Vermillion Vocalists, the a cappella group that I am a part of, I am probably watching television and/or thinking about television. Thus why I am teaching Women in Sitcoms—I love television. The class synthesizes several topics that I enjoy studying: comedy (because I like laughing), women (because I am a feminist and believe that women are important), and social issues (because everything has a motive, and I care). But mostly I am teaching it because, let’s be real, I am thrilled to be able to justify watching television non-stop for twelve hours under the guise of academia.

Course Description:
This seminar is about examining the roles and representations of female characters in sitcoms beginning with the 1950s and I Love Lucy and moving chronologically to more recent shows, including Friends and How I Met Your Mother. Students will develop their skills of critical analysis through assessing the representations of women in the shows within and beyond their historical and social contexts, and learn to extend those skills and apply them beyond the world of television and academia. Questions the course will be addressing include: how do comedy and humor function to negotiate social issues in the United States? What is the significance of the roles of women in these sitcoms? How do the sitcoms represent and do not represent their historical times? This course requires only three small writing assignments, participation, and attendance for a passing grade.

Enrollment Information:
Time: M 1:00 – 2:20
Place: SSL 171
Course Code: 87641

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Environmental Crisis Studies


Biography:
Hi, my name is Jack Pan. I am a senior studying Earth & Environmental Science, with a minor in Global Sustainability. This is my 3rd and last time teaching this class.
Years ago, I began to study environmental crisis. Though the future looked devastating, I had an optimistic view of our society and I had this idea of how we will overcome these socioeconomic and geopolitical difficulties with human ingenuity. After an unexpected transition out of my previous research field, I started to rethink our future realistically and began to consider means to fix the current climate problem on a large scale. Though I still hold many of my former beliefs, I have become a realist, and developed a rather gloomy but practical view of how our anthropogenic forcing will influence the natural environment. These views are not merely mine, but they are shared by many scholars; in particular scientists and engineers who work on engineering solutions that counter climate change problems, social scientists who work on collapse theory, and some educationalists. I look forward to hold engaging and open discussions on some of these topics during class.

Course Description:
Our environmental crisis involves complicated issues that no one academic discipline can resolve alone. Utilizing multidisciplinary research to address environmental challenges has become increasingly common in academia. This course will help students to gain a better understanding of the different disciplines involved in environmental issues and how these disciplines interact with one another. We will discuss current environmental topics from the perspective of these different disciplines. Eventually students will utilize what they have learned to investigate various environmental issues.
Some students might have an undeclared major but would like to study in an environmental field. This seminar will help those students to find their fields of interest and help them to choose their majors. I hope it will be a useful learning experience for you.

Enrollment Information:
Time: Tu 4:00 – 4:50
Place: DBH 1420
Course Code: 87642

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Exploring the Vampire


Biography:
My name is Cheyenne Tahbaz and I’m a fourth year Comparative Literature and History double major with a minor in Management. I believe in doing what you love—so I chose fields of study that would go along with my interest in people and cultures. Being interested in my own family’s cultures, of course, I traveled back to Romania in 2009 and explored Vlad Dracula’s Transylvania! Here at UCI I enjoy being a founding member and leading editor of our student-run Humanities publication, The Exhibit magazine. In my spare time (rare, I know!) I love visiting new places, reading magazines, going to live performances and spending time with friends and family.

Course Description:
Vampires! They seem to be everywhere today. What are modern vampires and where did they come from? This course looks at how vampires take on many shapes and forms based on people’s varying interpretations of them. We will consider folk stories and peasant beliefs from Romania and its province, Transylvania—known to most as the realm of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. We will also look at selected examples of the vampire in literature, film, and reality (?!) as we work our way into contemporary popular culture. Students will learn to draw comparisons and analyze excerpts of fiction and nonfiction texts, scholarly and newspaper articles, and film clips from Queen of the Damned, Twilight and True Blood. Although this course is not intended to be an entire history of the vampire, we will spend the early part of the quarter on selected historical examples so that students can get a sense of historical precedents to the modern vampire.

Enrollment Information:
Time: W 10:00 – 10:50
Place: DBH 1427
Course Code: 87643

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Modern Day Dystopia


Biography:
Peace all. My name is Jasmine Riad, 3rd year English major here at the University of California Irvine. I like learning about white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. Though, guiltily, I do enjoy dominating in RISK and wiping out competition in Monopoly.

Course Description:
My course, “Modern Dystopia,” will journey through events, legislation, and social trends of the last ten years in the United States to help determine whether we live in a dystopian society and what our role, as citizens of the state, is in it. We’ll be using themes from George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World to help guide us through identifying indicators of a dystopia. As undergraduate students at one of the top universities in the world, we have a terrifying amount of resources, time, and energy, so it is critical that we realize our potential in influencing our government, our social trends, and the values our society holds dear. And with that said, I hope “we shall meet in the place where there is no darkness,” also known as “Modern Dystopia!”

Enrollment Information:
Time: M 11:00 – 11:50
Place: HH 112
Course Code: 87644

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Introduction to American Sign Language


Biography:
Hi! My name is Morgann Havig and I am a fourth-year English major here at UCI. I am a Resident Advisor in Campus Village and I also work for UCIPD as a Community Service Officer. I have been involved with American Sign Language and the Deaf community for nearly six years now. As someone who is extremely passionate about ASL and Deaf culture, I am motivated to try and find a way to share my love for this beautiful language with others. I look forward to getting to know you all!

Course Description:
My “Introduction to American Sign Language” class will cover a basic history of American Sign Language in the United States and its evolution over the last two hundred years. We will also explore Deaf culture and societal norms through video clips and contemporary articles. Finally (and most importantly!), students will learn how to communicate in ASL on a practical level with others! It should be an interesting and fun class.

Enrollment Information:
Time: M 12:00 – 1:20
Place: HH 231
Course Code: 87645

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Remembering and Advancing
Brown vs. Board of Education


Biography:
My name is Umer Waris and I am currently a third year Biology and Political Science double major. I feel passionately for teaching and discussing this topic with other students since its is a profound event of our nation’s history that I believe many lack a good understanding of. I also believe that the Supreme Court decision and its lessons could provide essential insights as we move forward in dealing with the contemporary issues of equality in our nation.

Course Description:
The class I hope to teach as a part of UTeach seeks to provide a historical, legal and social overview of the Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education, the path leading to the decision and its aftermath. The class will give specific attention to the evolution of our legal and constitutional understanding of equality leading to Brown as well as current issues surrounding the implementation and interpretation of the decision. In this aim, Supreme Court cases that grappled with the issues of equality over our nation’s history will be principally emphasized.

Enrollment Information:
Time: M 3:00 – 3:50
Place: DBH 1431
Course Code: 87646

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Chinese Popular Music and Society


Biography:
Hello. My name is Laiyin Lao, a fifth-year student double majoring in sociology and East Asian culture. The reason I am teaching this course is not only because of my love of East Asian music, but also because popular music plays such an important role in both popular culture and social change in contemporary societies around the entire world. I am currently writing a honors thesis about the factors that affect American opinion on China. In my free time, I like playing the piano, going to concerts, and watching Asian dramas. I would like to attend graduate school and become a professor in the near future.

Course Description:
Jay Chou. Wang Lee Hom. Wong Faye. These are only a few of the many Chinese pop singers who have recently gained worldwide popularity. This seminar will explore the relatively recent development and globalization of Chinese popular music. In particular, Mandopop and Chinese rock music in both the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan will be analyzed along with Cantopop. The seminar aims to examine how Chinese popular music is significant in shaping sociopolitical, cultural, and economic developments in contemporary Chinese society. One of the important questions being addressed in the seminar is ‘How does Chinese popular music retain a sense of being “local” while adopting “global” elements?’ In addition, we will discuss how Chinese popular music can be used as a form of soft power. Ultimately, the goal of the seminar is for the students to gain from another culture. No knowledge of the Chinese language is required.

Enrollment Information:
Time: Tu 1:00 – 1:50
Place: PSCB 240
Course Code: 87647

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Sex Trafficking: A Comprehensive Analysis of a Growing Industry


Biography:
I am a 3rd year Public Health Policy Major, also minoring in Civic and Community Engagement. My main areas of interest are infectious diseases and sex trafficking, which are often interrelated. I look forward to creating a classroom environment that allows for open exchange of ideas and knowledge. In addition to UTeach, I also lead the discussion section for Bio 45: Aids Fundamentals. I enjoy trying new foods, playing tennis, and above all, shopping.

Course Description:
This course will explore the basics of human trafficking, and more specifically, sex trafficking. Topics of discussion will include: prostitution, sexually transmitted diseases, sex trafficking in politics and pop culture, illegal brothels, and much more. Through documentaries, video clips, victim impact statements, scholarly articles, group discussions, and recent news articles, I hope to emphasize why sex trafficking is such a pressing issue that poses both a social and a public health risk.

Enrollment Information:
Time: W 12:00 – 12:50
Place: HH 220
Course Code: 87648

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China’s Economy


Biography:
Lucas developed an interest in international relations and economics early on, having wasted his teenage years reading the Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine and Newsweek. An international studies/political science double major, Lucas studied abroad in Beijing in summer 2012, furthering his interest in China’s economy.

Course Description:
This course will address China’s rise as an economic powerhouse, and the challenges and risks that the economy faces. Topics discussed will include economic growth, the political environment, the financial system, China’s demographic trends, economic inequality, natural resources and the environment. No prior knowledge of economics is necessary.

Enrollment Information:
Time: W 4:00 – 4:50
Place: DBH 1425
Course Code: 87649

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The Performance of Identity (On & Off Stage)


Biography:
Margie Rodriguez is a fifth year undergraduate student double majoring in Drama and Arts & Humanities with a minor in English. She has been active within the physical theatre community here at the UCI Drama department and would like to further her studies in theoretical performance. Margie would like to use theatre as a means of conscious action and acknowledgement of historical injustice. Her participation within the theatre community has moved away from traditional acting and has called upon her as an academic actor in the world to create diverse and contradicting narratives that highlight the struggles of oppressed peoples in colonial societies. After graduating, Margie plans on either traveling throughout the U.S. or teaching English in Spain or China. She would eventually like to attend a PhD program in Theory and Performance and one day work as a Professor. Outside of her scholarly work, Margie is interested in dance, slam poetry, outdoor adventures, traveling, improvised play and moment to moment connections.

Course Description:
This course is designed with the intention of juxtaposing history and performance as represented outside and within performative spaces. We will use our knowledge of history, colonialism, political movements and issues of integration to investigate representation and incorporation within the public sphere. We will also delve into performance theory in the last weeks of the seminar, when we will relate our findings of performance occurring outside of ourselves to the ways in which we as human beings perform in our interpersonal and social relationships.

Enrollment Information:
Time: Th 11:00 – 11:50
Place: SST 122
Course Code: 87650

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