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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Theatre, Performance, Performativity (ENLI10409)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures 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 will examine the ways in which the modern and contemporary thinking of performance has demanded an exploration of both the social force and functionality of theatre, on the one hand, and of the extra-theatrical powers of performance, on the other. It will also explore the model of social force articulated in versions of the concept of performativity, and the sometimes fraught place of theatre, theatricality and theatrical performance within such theories. The course will also consider how theatre's political and social potential has been understood by practitioners and critics in the light of these varying theories of performativity.
Course description This course will introduce students to the place of the idea and practice of performativity within the context of performance theory and performance studies. It will bring together readings from a range of different theorists and practitioners across this field, and focus both on developing an understanding of the power and relevance of such work while also testing it against a range of theatrical and ordinary performances.

The course will begin by introducing the challenges of studying performance as a broad field, move on to looking at theories of play and of ritual, then focus specifically on the ways in which the particular concept of performativity has been developed, extended and critiqued over the past five decades. It will conclude by examining the ways in which such a thinking of performativity has impacted on contemporary modalities of theatrical performance.

The course will be organised into five pairs of seminars and workshops; each seminar will focus on group discussion of selected readings, while each workshop will explore these issues in an experiential context through a range of practical tasks and exercises. Students will record and reflect on their learning through these workshops through posts made on a class blog.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Literary Studies 1A (ENLI08020) AND Literary Studies 1B (ENLI08021) OR English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016) AND Literary Studies 2A: English Literature in the World, 1380-1788 (ENLI08024) AND Literary Studies 2B: English Literature in the World, post-1789 (ENLI08025) OR Scottish Literature 2A (ENLI08022) AND Scottish Literature 2B (ENLI08023) OR English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 12, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The assessment for the course will consist of a final essay (50% of the total mark) and a learning journal of five blogposts submitted after each workshop (50%)
Feedback Students will be provided with written feedback on each fortnight's blogposts via the blog itself.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a good working knowledge of performance studies and theories of performativity.
  2. Analyse and assess different critical viewpoints on performativity and show an understanding of the place of theories of performativity in the wider discipline of performance studies.
  3. Show an understanding of practice-based approaches to performance studies.
  4. Devise and execute practical explorations of issues in performance studies.
  5. Reflect critically on their theoretical and practical exploration of the course topics.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will assist students in developing and consolidating skills in critical reading, analysis of theoretical texts, practical analysis and research, communication, collaboration, and reflection.
KeywordsTheatre,Performance Studies,Performance Theory,Performativity,Postdramatic Theatre
Course organiserProf James Loxley
Tel: (0131 6)50 3610
Course secretaryMrs Lina Gordyshevskaya
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