This course focuses on developing descriptive critical and creative writing skills in relation to both witnessing and doing live performance. Through close readings of texts by authors including José Esteban Muñoz, Jennifer Doyle, Eileen Myles, Lydia Davis, Hilton Als, Glenn Ligon, Claudia Rankine, Eve Sedgwick, Fred Moten, and Ann Pellegrini, this course will challenge students to craft ideas and arguments by enhancing critical reading skills, creative thinking, and clear writing. We will experiment with style and form from academic essays to performative writing, performance lectures, artist interviews, and free-form prose. Students will complete in-class writing assignments and exercises in response to written, recorded, and live performances by a range of contemporary artists. This class is particularly interested in ways in which gender, race, and sexuality are shaped by language, and how language as a performative tool can be a site for "insurrection" (Moten), "gaps, overlaps, dissonances" (Sedgwick), and "listening in detail" (Vazquez).