Who Am I?

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  • Assignment: Who Am I?
  • Due Date: week of 2/26 in section
  • Points: 10

This assignment is inspired by Adrienne Rich, who urges us to understand ourselves and our identities as embodied: “Begin, though, not with a continent or a country or a house, but with the geography closest in—the body” (369). She calls us to “reconnect our thinking and speaking with [our] body” (370). For Rich, this meant that she had to “locate” herself in a world that viewed and treated her as white and female (in addition to her other identities as a North American Jew, a lesbian, a feminist, and a U.S. citizen). She calls this the “politics of location”: the way we all locate ourselves in a place, a history, and a body.

For this assignment, you are called to creatively reflect upon your identity in the world. (See below for some prompts to help you get started.) You are tasked with the challenge of answering the question “Who Am I?” and communicating your answer to this question using performance as a tool. Everyone will perform their answer to the question “Who Am I?” during section.

While many of us think about performance in terms of theater (performing a play or a piece of music on stage), performance in its broadest sense is about doing an action. While words can be a part of your performance, we want to encourage you to think about how you communicate. How do you use your voice? How do you use silence? How might you use other parts of your body in addition to (or instead of) your vocal chords to communicate your answer?

You are the creators of your performance. There is not one way to do this assignment. You may rely upon words: spoken word, storytelling, recitation of a poem, letter, song, an utterance of one word, or a quote. You can use a whisper or a scream. You can use your body in movement, a series of movements, dance, a gesture, or a stance. In the performance that you design, you must consider your social location and the implications of your existence in this world, your politics of location. Each student will have a maximum of three minutes for their performance. If you have any concerns or questions, please talk with your professor.

Here are some prompts to help start you thinking. Please note that each one may have multiple answers, and your answers may change if you do this more than once. There is no one way to fill these in.

  • I am from:
  • I identify:
  • I think:
  • I feel:
  • I love:
  • I want:
  • I need:
  • I experience:
  • I hear:
  • I see: