DEMOCRACY + MEDIA LAB

Interdisciplinary Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities

University of California, Berkeley

Chochenyo Ohlone Unceded Land

Performance and Democracy
Spring 2020
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Essay by Maxine Moss examines the staging of the 1937 Federal Dance Project's performances of How Long Brethren? within the broader struggle for racial justice and democratic equality. 
Winner of the TDPS Ogden Undergraduate Essay Prize 2020. 

An essay "dispatch" from quarantine,
Asha Alvarez explores how the conditions of shelter in place situate public and private spaces differently, altering how we might understand and practice democracy. 

The sound interactive essay by Julia Malinow on “The Effects of Global Citizenship” analyzes several key theorists with a critique of the “charity” model of outreach from industrial nations embedded in discourses of globalism.

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Life After Graduation

The essay by Jonathan Molina critiques the current model of campaign finance as un-democratic. It suggests instead that a system of democracy vouchers democratize political contributions and provide an opportunity to expand robust and participatory deliberation and debate. 

This essay and proposal by Isla Covarrubias examines the possibilities of post-graduation housing for students with children based on the Moms4Housing movement. The project raises the question of housing as a basic right and tenet of democracy.

This story map and website essay by Rebecca Gerny documents the history of the Gill Tract Farm and social movements formed around reviving the farm along with cultural events and performance to envision new forms of participatory democracy.

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This interactive web essay by Josie Oriana examines anthropocentric ideals of democracy and “sounds” of birds and other natural life. The project serves as research material for a future full length theatrical production.

This essay by Isabella de Bruin critiques the 2020 primary elections as a spectacle of national political theater that produces an anti-democratic paradox of polarization and disenchantment. The essay suggests that “unifying narratives that address the paradoxes of American democrxy are needed to reverse the damage.”

Utilizing trauma theory, psychoanalytic theory, and literary criticism, this research project by Clara Jimenez how Isabel Allende’s character Clara in The House of Spirits defies the patriarchal expectations of the space of the house using silence, thus subverting totalitarianism and democratizing the house of spirits.

COURSE PROJECTS Funded by the Mellon Strategic Initiatives in the Humanities 

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