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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Undergraduate Course: The Performative Turn: Performance and Live Art since 1945 (HIAR10175)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides a detailed examination of performance theory and practice from 1945 to the present day. The course is structured as a series of two-hour seminars, one of which will take the form of a practical workshop led by a professional performer. The seminars will focus each week on different themes, including gender and sexuality, critical race theory, class identity, disability, and the posthuman.
Course description This course provides a detailed examination of performance theory and practice from 1945 to the present day. Through analysis of visual, filmed and written material, students will connect aesthetic analysis to relevant social and historical context throughout the period surveyed. The course will equip students with an in-depth understanding of the evolution of transgressive performance while illuminating intersections with important theoretical discussions, including cultural appropriation, feminist criticism, and queer theory. This course thus offers a wide-ranging exploration of the radical potential of live performance.

Each week, reading and visual material will be assigned in order to provide the student with a grounding in some of the critical theories applicable to the study of performance. These readings will form the basis of class discussion, as will a significant amount of archival video material. Where relevant to the lecture content, there will be a class trip taking in a live performance. One session will take the form of a practical workshop led by a professional performer. This is a unique approach to understanding performance history, and one of the few opportunities in the UK for this kind of study outside of the conservatoire environment.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students MUST have passed the appropriate number of second year level credits in any suitable subject. History of Art manage the quota for this course. If you wish to enrol, please contact Sue Cavanagh.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  22
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 24, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 150 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 x 2500 word essay 50% - submitted weeks 8-10.
1 x 24 hour online exam 50% - December diet.
Feedback Students are given feedback on formative assessment as follows:

You will be asked to complete a 500-word essay proposal mid-way through semester and will receive written and verbal feedback at a one-to-one meeting, within 15 working days.

Summative Assessment

There will be an essay and an exam, equally weighted. Written feedback on student essays will be provided within 15 working days of submission, in addition to a one-to-one meeting towards the end of semester.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)24 hour online examination paper0:05
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key artists and performance works, as well as the historical, cultural and practical dimensions of performance from 1945 until the present day.
  2. Demonstrate skills of critical observation and analysis through first-hand examination of performance-based works.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to analyse connections across a range of artistic practices and media.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate and clearly communicate the central philosophical and ideological tenets informing performance practices.
  5. Demonstrate developed skills of analysis, communication, and organisation.
Reading List
Berghuis, Thomas, Performance Art in China (Hong Kong: Timezone 8, 2006)

Fischer-Lichte, Erika, The Transformative Power of Performance: A New Aesthetics (New York: Routledge, 2008)

Johnson, Dominic [ed.], Critical Live Art: Contemporary Histories of Performance in the UK (London: Routledge, 2013)

Jones, Amelia, Body Art/Performing the Subject (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998)

Schechner, Richard, Performance Theory (London: Taylor & Francis, 2003)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Visual and critical analysis;
Clear thinking and the development of an argument;
Independent research;
Presentation and communication skills;
Organisation and planning.
KeywordsPerformance,live art,gender,sexuality,identity,the body,posthuman,disability
Course organiserDr Lucy Weir
Tel: (0131 6)51 8500
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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