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

Undergraduate Course: Time and Space of Performance (ENLI10421)

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
SummaryThe course is an exploration of how meaning is generated in live performance and then read by the spectator. The course has a primary, but not exclusive, focus on live theatre and the relationship between written and performance text(s). Classes are a series of guest masterclasses and staff-led seminars in an approach which is a confluence of practical, phenomenological and theoretical exploration of current theory and practice. There will be four guest master classes by leading UK theatre industry professionals.
Course description The course investigates the processes by which a play text becomes a performance text, how meaning is generated and read in theatrical performance, and what sorts of critical and theoretical modes might be helpful in writing critically about performance. It will develop students' knowledge of the modes, genres and technical constituents of dramatic performance, with specific regard to a number of the key movements, theories and practices that have shaped modern and contemporary performance. By the end of the course students should be able to analyze the constituents of a dramatic performance and reflect upon the critical accounts of performance theory produced by others and themselves.

Topics to be covered in seminars may include: the semiotics of live performance; audience reception theory; theories of representation of gender, class, race and sexuality in live performance; aspects of live performance such as set, sound and lighting design, the role of the director and/or actor; advance signs and signals of performance; the body and voice in performance; historical modes and conventions of live performance.

The course is assessed by two pieces of written work: one essay to be completed during term-time and one to be written during the exam period. Preparation for seminars will take the form of a combination of workshops, autonomous learning group tasks and individual readings of the theoretical texts and prerecording performances, along with directed secondary reading. Seminars themselves will involve practical exercises, group discussion, and reporting back on preparatory individual/ALG work.
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 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, 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) 30% 2,000 word coursework essay

70% 3,000 word final essay
Feedback Written feedback will be provided on each assignment, and additional verbal feedback will be available from the course organizer and guest artists during workshop exploration.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analyse and critically reflect upon live performance texts using recognised methods of performance analysis, through a developing knowledge of the semiotics of live performance and how meaning is generated in live performance.
  2. Be aware of and be able to critically reflect upon current issues related to the making and reading of live performance and how this affects the making and reading of meaning on live performance, through an experiential, phenomenological series of workshops, as well as theoretical seminars.
  3. Apply critically reflective approaches to directing and design practice in making and writing about their own concepts for performance, developed through a series of master classes with leading professional theatre artists.
  4. Apply critical skills developed through the course to write original, analytical arguments about how meaning is made in performance as a live event taking place in real space and real time.
Reading List
Aston E, Theatre as Sign-System': a Semiotics of Text and Performance / Elaine Aston, George Savona. (George Savona ed, Routledge 1991)
Leach R, Theatre Studies': the Basics / Robert Leach. (Routledge 2008)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and understanding: students will have had the opportunity to demonstrate their detailed knowledge of some of the key issues relating to the generation and reading of meaning in live performance.

Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding: in their work for class discussion and formal assessment tasks, students will have been able to practice the application of these concepts in their construction of arguments about the course material.

Generic Cognitive Skills: through group work and completing assessed essays, students will have practiced identifying, designing, conceptualising and analysing complex problems and issues germane to the discipline.

Communication: through participating in these tasks students will also have demonstrated the ability to communicate ideas and information about specialised topics in the discipline to an informed audience of their peers and subject specialists.

Autonomy and Working with Others: students will also have shown the capacity to work autonomously and in small groups on designated tasks, develop new thinking with their peers, and take responsibility for the reporting, analysis and defence of these ideas to a larger group.
KeywordsPerformance; Drama; Theatre Studies
Course organiserMs Nicola McCartney
Tel: (0131 6)50 3629
Course secretaryMs June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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