Spring 2021 - CA 329 E100

Selected Topics in Dance II (3)

Performing Black Identities - Diasporic Spaces

Class Number: 8266

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 4:30 PM – 7:20 PM

  • Instructor:

    Henry Daniel
    1 778 782-3897
    Office: GCA 3285
  • Prerequisites:

    CA (or FPA) 221 or prior approval.



A specific topic in dance which is not otherwise covered in depth in regular courses. The work will be practical, theoretical or a combination of the two, depending on the particular topic in a given term.


This course responds to a need for more breadth courses across the University that address the requirements of both Black and diverse students and are taught by Black Professors. Performing Black Identities Across Diasporic Spaces is a seminar course that asks students to examine the different types of performative actions that Black bodies undertake in efforts to define themselves across increasingly tense Diasporic spaces. It is intended to give students an understanding of the historic circumstances that positioned these bodies in the spaces where they currently exist, to explore the performative actions that help them define themselves, and to examine the results of these actions in the texts, art objects, dances, music, films, discussions, and performative actions that emerge. Students can expect lecture titles such as “Performing the Fist, the Knee and the Afro”; “Afrofeminist performance from Cuba to Peru”; “Rhodes must fall to Columbus must fall: from South Africa to Minnesota”; “Carnival as Activist Performance across the Diaspora”; “From Black Face in Montreal to Zwarte Piet in Amsterdam”; “The Black Body Surviving in Pandemic Mode”, and more.


At the end of this course students should be able to:

  1. Understand a great deal more about the complex nature of Black Diasporic identities and how they are formed and performed.
  2. Recognize the historical, social and political conditions that help us identify these performative behaviors.
  3. Appreciate the different methodological and epistemological bases from which these performative behaviors emerge.


  • Short Writing Assignment 15%
  • Abstract for Seminar Presentation 10%
  • Seminar Presentation 25%
  • Final 3000 Word Essay 30%
  • Attendance and In-Class Participation 20%


This course is by permission of the instructor. Please email Henry Daniel, hdaniel@sfu.ca for enrollment.



All readings for the course pack will be made available online

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).