This article describes the creation and implementation of a unique undergraduate history seminar dedicated to examining and engaging the work of the Chicano-Latino theater trio Culture Clash. My previous research identified similarities between Culture Clash's playwriting methods and scholarly approaches to oral history and ethnography. The course engaged these methods, requiring students to conduct oral histories and transform those interviews into performance monologues. Informed by the role of Chicana/o teatro in the social protest movements of the 1960s and 1970s, the course challenged students to follow Culture Clash's methods of using teatro to tell the stories of those on society's margins. Culture Clash members joined the class in facilitating students' efforts to bridge historical scholarship with oral histories of everyday people. I examined excerpts of students' monologues and a spoken word piece performed as part of the course culminating public “Reader's Theater” event. Reflecting on some of the students' remarks, I discuss the seminar as contributing to a tradition of transformative history pedagogy.
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David G. García; Transformations through Teatro: Culture Clash in a Chicana/o History Classroom. Radical History Review 1 January 2008; 2008 (102): 111–130. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01636545-2008-017
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