What is performance? Is it an event or an action? Is it what happens on a stage or in your living room? Furthermore, what does performance have to do with race, gender, sexuality or community? This course approaches theater and performance as both a critical lens for viewing social and cultural life, and as a creative practice of worldmaking. Students will be introduced to the theoretical, critical, and creative field of performance studies. Pulling from anthropology, theater, dance, queer studies, critical race theory, and linguistics, we will look at performances ranging from "Paris Is Burning" (directed by Jennie Livingston), to "Slave Play" (written by Jeremy O. Harris), to the work of artists Ana Mendieta, Marina Abramovic, Paula Vogel, Amiri Baraka, Faye Driscoll, Zora Neal Hurston, Will Rawls, Coco Fusco, Ralph Lemon, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Eiko Otake, Muriel Miguel, Tony Kushner, and many others. In this writing intensive course we will pay particular attention to queer artists and artists of color.