Social & Environmental Justice: Aaron Landsman
Bennington Early College Program: Social and Environmental Justice
Performing Power and Local Government
Taught by Aaron Landsman
6:00-8:00 pm EST | September 20, 23, 27, 30 and October 4, 7, 14
Q&A with Aaron Landsman
What excites you about teaching Performing Power and Local Government?
This class comes out of a theater project called (literally) City Council Meeting that asked audience members to look at how we perform power together and what democracy even means.
In my experience around the country, high school students are visionary in their understanding of how systems work and how to make dynamic change when those systems are struggling. They just don't often get to be heard. I'm excited to work with young visionaries and make their radical creativity more visible.
I hope students feel confident in their ability to understand how to participate more powerfully within systems that often seem disempowering.
What do you hope students will gain from this course?
I hope students feel confident in their ability to understand how to participate more powerfully within systems that often seem disempowering. I hope students see that civic engagement is also creative and even fun. I hope students learn how to make change in their communities.
What sort of student do you hope takes this course?
Ideal students for this course include: the curious listener, the theater nerd, the democracy-minded, the activist, and the sociologist-in-training.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished Saidiya Hartman's Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, about the critical and artistic brilliance of Black women in the US, during and after the Great Migration; I'm about to read Gregory Snyder's ethnographic work Skateboarding LA, about how subcultures can reimagine urban public space. Also loving Constantine/Cea Jones' In Still Rooms, a kind of hybrid prose-poem about landscape, home, love and more things. And excited to read Daniel Alexander Jones' new book of performance texts, Love Like Light, about to drop later this year!
What coverage of you work have you had recently?A New York Times article and San Francisco Guardian article on City Council Meeting; a New York Times article on recent theatrical work, and my arts advocacy working group PERFECT CITY.
Do you have any pets?
Meet Lisa Frank.
About the Bennington Early College Program
The Bennington Early College Program is a suite of one-credit online courses for high school, gap year, and college students. Programs are offered in Literature and Writing, Social and Environmental Justice, and Politics, Power, and Society.
Bennington Early College Program course fees are refundable for students who later apply to Bennington's undergraduate program.