FT2PI-Performance and Identity

Module Provider: Film, Theatre and TV
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Anna Mcmullan

Email: a.e.mcmullan@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The module will study the construction, representation and performance of diverse modes of identity through theatre and performance, such as gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity or disability, and will consider how these intersect with the performance of identity in culture more generally. We will consider how theatre and performance can both reinforce particular identity positions and stereotypes, and also expose or contest narrow, oppressive or exclusive identity positions. We will explore the work of theatre practitioners in relation to specific socio-historical, theoretical and theatrical frameworks, and will also study cultural performances such as public installations.

•To cultivate an understanding of the construction, representation and performance of diverse modes of identity in theatre and in culture more generally, including, for example, gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity or disability.
•To gain an understanding of how theatre and culture more generally intervenes in the construction, representation and performance of identies to reinforce identity positions and / or to interrogate them.
•To develop appropriate critical and theoretical frameworks for analysing the performance of identity in theatre and culture more generally.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, it is expected that students will be able to:

•Analyse in both oral and written media the construction and performance of identity in theatre and culture more generally, in relation to diverse cultural and historical contexts.
•Employ a range of appropriate critical and theoretical frameworks in analysing the performance of identity / identities.
•Understand the concept of performativity, in relation to both text and performance, as a means of interrogating essentialist notions of identity and the body in performance.
•Engage in reflexive thinking and independent critical and analytical skills.
•Relate play texts, theatrical practices and cultural performances to wider national, social, cultural and political movements (e.g. feminism);
•Make informed use of interpretative frameworks introduced or extended in the module (e.g. concepts of ideology) in the analysis of texts, practices and productions;
•Identify some of the main relationships between theatre practices and the institutional contexts in which they occur;
•Demonstrate skills of performance analysis, through detailed consideration of both live and recorded productions.

Additional outcomes:
The module plays a significant role in the continuing development of other skills and competencies which are central to the course. It is expected that the level of skills and competencies achieved in the following will be appropriate to the level of study: oral communication and argument in group situations; deployment of research using printed and electronic resources; critical analysis and coherent argument; undertaking self-directed, independent work; presentation of written work using IT; identifying and addressing problems in the analysis of theatre.

Outline content:
The course will begin with an exploration of ideologies of gender and performance, including the study of key feminist texts (such as the work of Caryl Churchill), and the analysis of femininity, masculinity and queer identities in a range of theatre texts and performances. The course will then study a range of the following depending on staff availability: issues of disability and performance, and the performance or interrogation of norms of embodiment; the performance of class identity and how this might have changed over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; the construction and performance of race in the work of Susan Lori-Parks and Gomez-Peña, and the impact of migration on questions of identity.

Global context:
The ways in which diasporic and transnational identities are complicating unitary or exclusive identity formations is a major issue globally and will be explored in this module.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The normal teaching pattern will consist of one lecture and an hour and a half seminar per week. Visits to performances will be an important part of the module, and will inform lectures and seminar discussion, as well as reading plays. Where relevant, film and television screenings will be arranged.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 9
Seminars 13
Tutorials 1
External visits 10
Guided independent study 167
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resubmission of coursework

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    1) Required text books: 2) Specialist equipment or materials: 3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 4) Printing and binding: 5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: 7) Theatre trip

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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