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American Studies 398.

001: Service-Learning in America

The Arts & Social Change
Spring 2016
Dr. Aaron Shackelford
Carolina Performing Arts
Porthole Building, 2nd floor
Office hours by appointment

Dr. Mimi Chapman

School of Social Work
Tate-Turner-Kuralt, 3rd floor
Office hours by appointment

Course Description
This seminar investigates and challenges the notion of arts as an instrument of social change.
Over the course of the semester we will explore how the arts provide a medium to process,
respond, and draw attention to social ills. At the same time we will ask questions about the
efficacy of art to accomplish social change, and how we go about answering such questions in a
rigorous manner.
A large portion of this class will be student engagement in an arts-based service-learning project.
All students will maintain a series of critical reflections throughout their project. The student
experiences in the community will provide a direct experience of the power and challenges of
art as a catalyst for social change here in North Carolina.
Readings (available on Sakai)
Auger, Josie & Jane Heather. My Peoples Blood: Mobilizing Rural Aboriginal Populations in
Canada Around Issues of HIV. The Applied Theater Reader. (2009)
Boal, Augusto. Theatre of the Oppressed
Cinzia, Di Dio & Gallese Vittoro. Neuroaesthetics: A Review. Current Opinion in
Neurobiology 19 (2009)
Haidt, Jonathan. The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail: A Social Intuitionist Approach to
Moral Judgement. Psychological Review 108:4 (2001)
Klusacek, Allan & Ken Morrison (ed). A Leap in the Dark: AIDS, Art & Contemporary Cultures
Moore, Madison. Walk for Me: Postmodern Dance at the House of Harrell. Theater 44:1
Newell, Anna & Paul Kleiman. Doctors Can Dance. London Review of Education 10:2 (2012)
Experiential Education
AMST 398 will require individual service-learning placements for a minimum of 30 hours
outside of class time. Assistance in finding placements will be provided, and you are encouraged
to think deeply about which opportunities will be most beneficial for your interests. If you have
an idea for an alternative placement, please speak with me as soon as possible and we will
discuss your options. You will be required to return APPLES contracts and placement supervisor
contact information will be needed ASAP in the semester. Throughout the semester you will
write at least four Critical Incident Reflections. You will also be responsible for leading one class
discussion of at least 30 minutes that connects with your service-learning placement.
Research-Exposure Course
In this research-exposure course, you will be working with a Graduate Research Consultant,
Todd Jensen, who will assist you in the research project. The GRC Program is sponsored by the
Office for Undergraduate Research (, and you may be able to use this researchexposure course to meet a requirement of the Carolina Research Scholars Program
( We encourage you to visit the OUR website to learn about how you
might engage in research, scholarship and creative performance while you are at Carolina.

Student Responsibilities
You will be responsible for the following assignments and activities. Detailed explanations of
each assignment and relevant forms and samples are available on Sakai.
1) Organization of service-learning placement, completion of APPLES contracts and placement
supervisor contract information. These documents are available on Sakai and must be completed
as quickly as possible. Failure to complete these documents will result in an automatic F in the
2) Critical Incident Reflections. These documents ask you to reflect upon an incident in your
placement, provide an analysis of the incident using the readings and discussion from class, and
offer a plan of action for how you could address a similar incident in the future. A template and
rubric for the CIR is available on Sakai. You will write four CIRs over the course of the
3) Case Study. You will be part of a small group responsible for a 30-45 minute case study
reading & discussion. These case studies will offer 1-3 examples of artistic interventions during a
particular social movement. You will be responsible for providing a short reading, video, or other
material for students to review before class in preparation for your discussion. In class you will
lead a conversation and analysis of this case study as an example of efforts to use art to impact
social change. Case studies that consist solely of powerpoint presentations and lecture will not
receive high marks. Guest speakers or other engagement tools are encouraged. You will sign up
for case study weeks early in the semester.
4) Final white paper. At the end of the semester you will draw from your service-learning
experience and discussions from the course to write a white paper that analyzes an aspect of art
and social change in North Carolina. Your paper may focus on your particular field-placement
organization, or on the issue or art form in which you were engaged. The paper should identify
the successes and challenges, apply relevant research and reading to these successes and
challenges, and propose future steps to be taken by the reader.
5) In-class participation. Each week you will be expected to both attend class and contribute to
the class discussion in some way. While everyone has different learning styles and comfort levels
speaking up in class, it is your responsibility to find a way to join the discussion and make a
positive impact on our class every week. In order to facilitate these conversations, you are
expected to read all materials prior to each class meeting.
6) Performance attendance. Throughout the semester we will be attending performances that
take place outside of our regularly scheduled class time. These performances are listed on the
calendar below, and you are expected to make every effort to attend. Should you have a conflict,
please notify me right away so that we can devise an alternative experience.
You will receive a voucher to enable your purchase of a $10 ticket for each Carolina Performing
Arts performance. Tickets are purchased at the Memorial Hall Box Office. You are responsible
for purchasing your ticket by the date listed on the voucher. This guarantees you access to

performances, even if they are sold out. Failure to purchase a ticket by the expiration date will
not accept as an excuse for missing a performance.
Grades will be determined based on a combination of your service-learning fieldwork (30%),
written materials (50%), and in-class participation including your own day providing a reading
and leading discussion (20%). Each assignment above has a detailed rubric available on Sakai.
Service-Learning Fieldwork
Completion of placement paperwork and contracts
Completion of 30 hours of service-learning placement


Written Assignments
Completion of Critical Incident Reports (4)
Completion of final white paper


In-Class Participation
In-class reading and discussion leader (1 week)
Weekly attendance and participation



Students with disabilities that affect their participation in the course and who wish to have
special accommodations should contact the Universitys Disabilities Services at the beginning of
the semester and provide documentation of their disability. Disabilities Services will notify the
instructor that the student has a documented disability and may require accommodations,
Students should discuss the specific accommodations they require (e.g. changes in instructional
format, examination format) directly with the instructor.
Students are asked to silence cellular phones and pagers during class time. Your smart phones,
etc. should remain in your purse, backpack, coat pocket, etc. It is not appropriate to update your
calendar, surf the web, Facebook, text other people, do Sudoku, tweet, or otherwise disengage
during class. If you have an extenuating situation that means you will likely be receiving a phone
call that you must take during class, please let us know in advance.

January 12: Introduction to Art and Social Change
Readings: APPLES Online Module & Course Syllabus

January 19: Why Art Can Create Social Change: Possibilities

Guest Speaker: Ryan Nilsen, Buckley Public Service Scholars

Neuroaesthetics: A Review
Theater of the Oppressed (selections)
The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail

January 26: Reading the Visual

Readings: Representing the Slave Trade
Signed Service-Learning Contracts due

Unit #1: Telling Unheard Stories

February 2: The Story of HIV/AIDS
Leap in the Dark
My Peoples Blood
Case Study Prompts: The NAMES Project (AIDS Memorial Quilt), ACT UP,
Pasos (Steps) by Lorena Zilleruelo, Visual AIDS, Lar Lubovitch, Angels in America
February 9: Experiences of Grief
Readings: Antigone
Case Study Prompts:
CIR #1 due (bring in 2 copies)
February 16: Imaging Immigration
Potential Speakers: Susan Harbage-Page, Janet Jarman
Transgressing Borders in Portland Maine
Case Study Prompts:
Thursday, February 18 at 7:30pm: Throw Me On the Burnpile and Light Me Up featuring
Lucy Alibar

Unit #2: Social Movements & The Public

February 23: Memorials and Points of View

Potential Speakers: Joseph Jordan
Case Study Prompts:
March 1:

Art that Challenges the State

Readings: (AiWeiWei Tedtalk) (Ai WeiWei Sunflowers)
Case Study Prompts:

March 8 at 7:30pm: We Are Proud to Present at Playmakers Repertory Company

CIR #2 due
March 15:

No Class (Spring Break)

March 22 at 6:00pm: The Ghost of Montpellier Meets the Samurai featuring Trajal Harrell
Performance begins at 7:30pm
Readings: Walk for Me: Postmodern Dance at the House of Harrell

Unit #3: Improving Health & Well-Being Through Art

March 29:

Art with Disenfranchised Populations

Detroit Art Making and the Justice System
Involving the Public Through Participatory Visual Research
Case Study Prompts:

April 5:
Artists and Providers Co-Creating with Communities
Potential Speakers: Gabrielle Berlinger (Liberian womens chorus for change?)

Doctors Can Dance

Literacy and Justice Through Photography

CIR #3 due

Unit #4: The Ethics of Art & Social Change

April 12:
Globalism, Appropriation, and Representation
Potential Speakers: Abigail Washburn
Case Study Prompts:

Sunday, April 17 at 2:00pm: Abigail Washburn and Friends

April 19:

The Holocaust and the Limits of Representation

Case Study Prompts:

April 26:

Art, Social Change, & UNC

Case Study Prompts:
CIR #4 due

Saturday, April 30th at 4:00pm: White Paper Presentations/Reception