Exploring Place, Culture and History in Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities

What better way to launch your career at the UW than playing in a Javanese gamelan (a type of gong ensemble) to explore cultural politics in Indonesia, the negotiation of gender norms, religious syncretism, and how gamelan music and musicians came to the U.S.?  Through the lens of ethnomusicology, we will investigate how we can use the performing arts to understand culture, place and history, and ways we can use culture, place and history to understand the performing arts, focusing on Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander traditions of music, dance and theater.  We will examine performance practices as well as complex cultural factors that contribute to artists’ creative decisions and roles artists play in their societies.  Previous study of music is not necessary to succeed in this course.

This course is open to students interested in music and related performing arts, learning about diverse cultures around the world and in Seattle, and learning about opportunities at the UW and around Seattle to participate in the arts, including as art-makers and appreciators.  No prior study of music or dance is necessary to succeed in this course.

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5 credits of Arts and Humanities coursework towards the Areas of Inquiry requirement.