The course will expand the offerings that engage with popular dancehall culture and Jamaican society more broadly, by examining elements of its everyday performance, ritual and spectacle that characterize the “theatre” of dancehall culture. The course introduces students to select facets of dancehall culture such as street and other performances, a reading of its rituals and celebration, alongside the spectacle of fashion and masquerade, and the video-light. It analyzes how these can be understood within and beyond their everyday contextual framings. It explores what these features tell us about the community and society in which they take place. Ultimately, the course evaluates dancehall’s live, embodied activities as cultural acts and as a site for theoretical engagement focusing on the social function and symbolic meaning of dancehall culture. Theories from performance studies, cultural studies, anthropology and performance studies will be deployed to analyses of dancehall culture’s rituals and spectacle. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which agency is created by actors from socio-cultural spaces of power from below.