Syllabus as Crisis Autoethnography: Performance in Extraordinary Times

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This personal essay examines entanglements of contemporary crises and pedagogical routines using the syllabus as autoethnography. Syllabi are an intrinsically autoethnographic genre: combining personal and disciplinary ideals, scoring contributing voices via course materials, and operating within the realities of academic labor. The syllabus for “Performance in Extraordinary Times” organizes reflections on the ways COVID-19, lethal U.S. anti-Blackness, shocks to U.S. performing arts communities, and crises of student mental health unfolded between 2020 and 2021. The essay invites questions about the ways syllabi operate as crisis management strategies and how they sometimes succumb to the very dynamics they aspire to address.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-352
Number of pages11
JournalCultural Studies - Critical Methodologies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


  • autoethnography
  • mental health
  • methodologies
  • oral history
  • pedagogy
  • performance studies
  • qualitative case studies
  • qualitative research
  • syllabus


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