Asian Culture and Arts - 2005-2006





In spring quarter, your primary assignment will be to research, develop, create, and perform (in collaboration) an adaptation of any of the stories (or portions of stories) that we have encountered this year. Performances will be in the final week of classes (June 6-7-8). By way of reminder, you have read books, short stories, articles, and poetry. You have viewed live performances and documentaries, feature films and lectures. In most cases, the information you have received through this program has been in the form of original Asian sources translated into English; this means that you have had the best access to the diversity of Asian ways of knowing, seeing the world, and acting in the world that your faculty know how to present to you. Your studies have spanned two millennia and four nations in (often profound) relation to each other, and now you are encountering a fifth and more familiar one: the United States.

Some of the students in this program are Americans of Asian descent, and some are Asian themselves. Other students come from diverse family backgrounds that, in Europe, might constitute racial differences (say, between the Germans and the French). Your responsibility is to approach all program materials and collegial backgrounds with sensitivity and curiosity. How can you and your colleagues best do an effective adaptation of a piece that speaks to all of you differently? This project will require plenty of conversation and negotiation, and please keep in mind that successful collaborations such as this one happen all the time (your faculty, for example, are pretty good at this).

We will begin working in class to gather people into interest groups. It is okay to be free-floating for a few weeks; see what ideas people have, how they respond to your ideas, and what you would like to do. We will expect a firm commitment from you by the fourth week of the quarter. Note that Rose's students are limited to working with each other, because they will be in China. Among the rest of you, you should have about thirty people to choose from. Assume that a group should have from three to seven people. Two people do not comprise a group! We will offer you more details and planning opportunities as the quarter progresses, and be aware that the ninth week of the program will have extra room for you to rehearse. In the meantime, start thinking carefully about the films, stories, texts, and other "events" that have occurred this year. Good luck! Each group will have at least a half hour for their performance.

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