Description | Units | Course Requirements | Tech Components | IRC Instructions


Borderlands and Barrios:
Hemispheric Latino/a Performance

    H42.2380, Fall 2002, Tuesdays 9:30-12:30
    Office hrs. Monday, 2:00-4:30 or by appointment

    Professor: Diana Taylor,

    Assistant: Alissa Cardone,

    Course Description

    This course will focus on issues relating to globalization, migration, and the changing public sphere in relation to Latino/a identity and performance in the United States. How do barrios reconstitute the idea of homeland even as they allow populations to adapt to a new environment? The image of "borders," evoked metaphorically in much contemporary theory, elides specific geographic, political and economic conditions that separate Latinos from their lands of origin. For Mexicans, the border is a heavily policed space; for Nuyoricans it's a "charco" or puddle dividing them from the island. For Cubans who cannot return to the island, there's no there there. Central Americans are often refugees of civil wars financed, in part, by the U.S. itself. We will pay close attention to the different development of Latino communities by focusing on several Latino barrios in New York City. How has public space changed in response to the steady immigration of Latino/as? We also turn to the 2000 census to analyze the ways that US Latino/as have changed the understanding of race in the US today. Through the study of plays, performances, performance venues (i.e. Nuyorican Poets Cafe), religious and healing practices, mural paintings, casitas, we will explore how Latino/a artists negotiate these real and imagined spaces. Course readings include works by theorists such as Jon McKensie, Edward Soja, Mary Louise Pratt, Lourdes Arizpe, Arjun Appadurai, Nestor Garcia Canclini, Juan Flores, Perez Firmat and others.

    This is the fourth course to be developed and taught in conjunction with the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, a Ford and Rockefeller foundations-funded research and teaching consortia between NYU and several Latin American Universities. As such, the course, "Globalization, Migration,and the Public Sphere" is being taught simultaneously at NYU, at the University of Rio de Janeiro, at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru in Lima, Ohio State University, the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico (CRIM, Centro Regional de Investigaciones Multi-disciplinarios) and the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (Monterrey). Each course follows a similarly structured syllabus, and shares an essential reading list. The four courses are coordinated through a shared website, which houses course readings, web resources, web-boards for working group and institution-based discussions, as well as images and short video clips related to the course. In addition, students from all institutions are expected to participate in ongoing discussion sessions on web-boards and collaborative web-based final projects.

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    Books at NYU Bookstore:

    Jon McKensie, Perform or Else, Routledge, 2001

    Mike Davis, Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the U.S. City, Verso, 2001.

    José Vasconcelos, The Cosmic Race/ La Raza Cósmica, Johns Hopkins UP

    All other readings are available through the website,

    Introduction: Performance Studies in the era of Global Capitalism

    Class 1: Sept. 10 Introduction: Who, Where, When, Why Latino/as?

    Class 2: Sept 17 Mckensie, Perform or Else

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    Unit One: Globalization and Cultural Production
    [Unit One]

    During the first three weeks of this unit, students are required to walk around Latino neighborhoods in NYC and photograph whatever they find pertinent to our topic: i.e., Latino mural art, bodegas, storefronts, festivities, etc. Students can check out digital cameras from the Dept. of Photography and Imaging, 8th Floor, North Side, TSOA.

    9/24 Class 3:

    10/1 Class 4:

    10/8 Class 5:

    10/15 Class 6:

    • Discussion of Projects.
    • Juan Flores,"Salvacion Casita" *** Preliminary discussion of migrating performances, new social geographies, and global corporealities.

    10/22 Class 7:

    • Web Workshop I (see Unit I for more info)

    10/29 Class 8:

    • Web Workshop II (see Unit I for more info)

    11/5 Class 9:

    • Discussion of Projects. Bring in materials collected to date

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    Unit Two: Migrating Performance/New Social Geographies
    [Unit Two]

    11/12 Class 10:

    • Latinos and Hemispheric Religiosities
      Conference on Hemispheric Religiosities, Fri., Nov 15 and Sat., Nov 16 (obligatory half day attendance - Fri Nov 15 if possible, here at KJC center, TBA)

    11/19 Class 11:

    • The Cultural Undercount
      Why are Latinos relatively invisible as a cultural presence in the U.S? Guest speaker, Gisela Canepa Koch, Professor of Hemispheric Institute course in Lima, Peru. Update on course at PUCP. Discussion of multiple forms of migrating performances.

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    Unit 3: Global Corporealities/Corpografias
    [Unit Three]

    11/26 Class 12:

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    Unit 4: Diasporic Spatial Practices/Virtual Spheres
    [Unit Four]

    12/3 Class 13:

    • Guest Lecture, Ricardo Dominguez of the Electronic Disturbance Theatre

    12/10 Class 14:

    • Final Discussion

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    The class requires active class participation. Please let me know if you will miss a class. In addition to class participation, students must join one of the six course work groups and are responsible for weekly postings to their work group's web board. The class also requires a written paper, and a collaborative web project. Computer workshops are available to help students prepare for the web components of the course.

    Added notes about work groups & web boards:

    1. Students will join a work group at the beginning of the semester. Student projects are not required to be related to their chosen work group.
    2. Work group leaders will check and post questions/observations 1x weekly, beginning the first week of September.
    3. Students must post/respond to work group web-boards 1x weekly.
    4. A recap or summary of each class session should be posted on the NYU web-board for each class session, to be prepared by a student in the course (interested? talk to Diana.

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    Technology Components of the Course

    As part of the course, students are expected to participate in a collaborative web-based project either with a student in the class, or ideally, with one from another campus. For example, students interested in popular entertainment in the Americas (sketches, carpas, minstrelsy and so on) will be asked to work together to develop a multi-lingual web-cuaderno on the topic. These include a historical timeline and a short written historical overview, a bibliography, photographs, student essays, and links to other sites of interest. This research and collaboration will not only expand our understanding of performance and politics across national and linguistic lines, but it will prove a valuable addition to the field. You will get credit for the work you do, and you will be able to cite it on your c.v.--both a proof of a certain technological competence and as a research project. However, as the site is ongoing, someone may add more information as time goes on. They, too, will indicate what they have contributed and will receive acknowledgement for that. All materials posted on the Hemispheric Institute site belong to their original owners/creators. Please remember to fill out the archival identification form to give as much information as possible about all the materials you contribute.

    It is best, for the purposes of this class, for students to pair up in groups of two or more. The criteria for establishing a group might be: 1) mutual interests, 2) compatible expertise-one person may have strong computer skills while another can handle two languages. Online webchats and classroom discussion will provide an opportunity to identify people with similar interests.

    On the first day of class a tour of the Hemispheric web site will be given. This will serve as an overview of Hemi's work and resources on-line, point you to all the course materials and most importantly will show you examples of past students final web-projects. We want you to start thinking about your final project now and this virtual tour will help you to begin imagining what you want to do while giving you a sense of the design and technology involved in creating it. Then in October, there will be two web workshop's given at NYU Academic Computing Facilities by Alissa Cardone. These workshops will take place in the Muliti-Media ACF lab on the second floor of the Education Building, at 35 West 4th Street. Students registered for this course have been automatically assigned priority access to this lab, and can use it for course-related work. You just need to present your ID card at the front desk of the lab, and when they swipe it they should see that you have access. For those of you with little or no web design experience there will be a template available for you to use where you can simply plug in images and text. We encourage you to be adventurous and creative with your web projects, but we also don't want to drive you nuts. Please note that we are requiring all students to use Dreamweaver. In the workshops, we will explain *in detail* how to work with this application.

    Part I of the workshop will introduce you to the set-up of the computers and the various applications available in the Education Building Multi-Media labs. Techniques such as scanning and converting text files to HTML files will be addressed. For the first session, you should bring with you at least one photo (taken during your exploration of Latino/a neighborhoods at the beginning of the semester) and one text file, preferably a preliminary bibliography, of the subject matter you will be researching for your web page project on a Zip disk. During the first workshop, Alissa will guide you through the process of getting those text and image files into a format ready for the web.

    Part II of the workshop will introduce basic web page design and show you the template we've already created, so that you can begin to organize and link your various files into a cohesive web page. At the end of Part II, you should have a basic web page, with at least one image file and a bibliography or other text file linked to it, in addition to at least one link to another site of relevant interest. We will share these initial pages in class and discuss ideas about both design and content. This basic web page will be the first step in creating your final assignment.

    Please bring to the workshops:
    1) at least one photo to be scanned
    2) a digital image file, if you have one (optional)
    3) a disk with a bibliography or other text file
    4) one zip disk (blank)

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    Instructions for IRC Chat:

    Download the Software
    · Open your webbrowser
    · download for windows:
    · download for macintosh:
    · Click on the link to "download". Choose the right version for your computer
    · It puts an icon on your desktop

    Connect to IRC

    Ideally, participants ought to be able to log into their local server and talk to participants at the other participating institutions. However, due to international lags in the lines, or other server problems this may not always be possible. In that case, all participants should try to log into the nyu irc server, according to the instructions below. As a last resort, you can also try a public server, many of which are listed in your irc client.

    Windows users
    · Click on the Mirc icon on your desktop
    · close the "about" file
    · open file/connect
    · in a new window, choose your school: RIO, PUCP, or NYU. If there is no option to choose your school, you need to add it:

    name: RIO
    ip number:
    name: NYU
    ip number:
    name: PUCP
    ip number:

    · type in your name and email
    · choose a nickname and alternative nickname in case the one you chose is already taken. Nicknames are temporary, so even if it is taken one time, it may be free the next time.
    · in a new window, click on "connect to IRC server"
    · in a new window, the left side is the channel window. Type in your text in the lower left hand corner.
    · for basic commands type: /help
    · the right side of the window shows all the participants in your channel.

    Mac users...
    · Click on the Mircle icon on your desktop.
    · Several windows will open, spread over your desktop.
    · Choose the server appropriate to your school
    · If there is no server for your school, you need to add it.

    name: RIO
    ip number:
    name: NYU
    ip number:
    name: PUCP
    ip number:

    · Choose a nickname
    · Connect

    Basic Commands

    /join #channelname join a channel, substituting the channelname of your choice. you must type the hash mark (#) in front of the channelname. "joining" is the same as creating a new channel, if one does not already exist by the name you choose. Channels are ephemeral. They only exist as long as someone is chatting. When everyone quits the channel, it disappears till you return to /join it again.
    /quit exit irc
    /nick yournick choose/change your nickname, substituting "yournick" with whatever name you choose. Nicknames are ephemeral. if someone is online using your nickname you must choose another. Many people add numbers to their name to solve this problem. there is no way to "reserve" a nickname only for yourself on irc.
    /query nickname start a private conversation with someone in addition to being on a channel or not. fill in the appropriate "nickname"
    /whois nickname find out more about a nickname, such as address, server they're logged in from, etc. fill in the appropriate "nickname"
    /list find out what channels are currently online

    More Information:

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