About The Ethnography


Poetry As Performance is designed as an introductory Performance Arts course, which seeks to analyze the nature of theatricality, “ethnopoetics”, the anthropology of performance and poetry as nontraditional dramatic texts.  Combining an introduction to style and poetry writing, the Elements of Theater and performance poetry techniques, with an appreciation for the theatricality of "dramatic text", Performance Poetry introduces the student of theater to how “the poem”, as a specific type of dramatic text, works as a representative example of “live theater”.  Paying particular attention to dramatic action, the structure of ideas, character development and a contextualization of on-going theories in Performance Studies, students will be introduced to the elements of theater and the unique process through which every poem, in performance, becomes its on micro/macro brand of  "live theater”.

Poetic Ethnography

Poetic Ethnography (Theater 2008) is a second level Theater Literature and Performance course meant as a companion to Poetry As Performance. (Theater 1008)  As a performance technique, the choreopoem is a genre of narrative theater that has increased in popularity alongside Hip Hop and Spoken Word. This class furthers our understanding of the use of choreopoem.
In line with Temple University and the Department of Theater’s commitment to Metro-Engagement, Poetic Ethnography teaches students how to write, stage and mount choreopoems set in and about communities.
As an extension to Poetry As Performance (Theater 1008), in Poetic Ethnography (TH 2008) students will be introduced to how the choreopoem functions as an ensemble performance piece. Students in this course will also review how Performance Poetry is situated in performance studies and the anthropology of performance as social science.

In Poetic Ethnography, students think critically about socio-political issues in municipalities through stories set to poetry about people living in their various neighborhoods. Because art has the power to transform lives, students in Poetic Ethnography develop craft and technique and use “the choreopoem” to create work in and around social change. Crafting poetic ethnographies and personal narratives about Philadelphia neighborhoods and people in their communities, the resulting performance work will enhance the students understanding of Metro-Engagement and, hopefully, give voice to the sometimes, “voiceless in our communities.