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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PECI2714 Politics, Identity and Performance

20 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Jacki Willson

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module will explore theoretical engagement with politically-oriented 21st century performance practice texts. It will offer the opportunity to reflect on how identity is constructed and experienced through the intersections of gender, sexuality, class, disability, race, and ethnicity. Considering performance as political protest and an exploration of identity, the module maps key texts, practitioners and practices onto contemporary political discourse.


On completion of this module, students will be able to:
- evaluate and engage with the political and cultural frameworks that contextualise 21st century political performance practice;
- demonstrate a range of specialist intellectual skills in the field of contemporary political theatre and performance;
- apply appropriate critical and comparative methodologies to the articulation and development of arguments;
- critically engage with a diverse range of texts, practitioners and cultural practices;
- demonstrate the ability to express ideas at an advanced level of written and verbal communication;
- differentiate between fact, interpretation, assertion and evaluation of opinions and theory.

Learning outcomes
A broadened knowledge of
- theories, concepts and argument relating to politics, identity and performance practice
- the global contexts of theory and performance practice
- a critical vocabulary through which to analytically relate theory and practice
- in-depth knowledge of various theoretical constructs in relation to selected practitioners and performance texts.


Students will typically be presented with a range of case studies in weekly lectures that address different aspects of the relationship between politics and identity in contemporary performance practice, informed by historical precedents where appropriate. Case studies will focus on key recent examples of protest and global protest movements, as well as concrete examples of trends in contemporary performance work and related popular culture ranging from commercial musicals to live art and body-based performance. Discussions may focus on the tactics used by the Occupy! movement, or the extent to which we might consider Beyonce’s half-time performance at the 2016 Superbowl as a form of protest, on the female body in performance art, or on the politics of ‘colourblind’ casting in Shakespearean theatre. Ideas about how personal as well as public identities are formed and performed, along with the power relations between these, will guide much of the thinking and analysis. The notion of performance as a critical lens through which we might analyse political protest and identity will be central.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment14.004.00
Private study hours174.00
Total Contact hours26.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Preparation for Taught Sessions
• Preparatory reading, listening and viewing of exemplars is required for most lectures
Review of Taught Sessions
• Taking careful notes: to keep the information needed for later use and to check understanding
• Reading of slides and follow up materials posted on the VLE for most taught sessions.
• Organising notes. Looking for common patterns and obvious gaps that need to be filled by revisiting lectures via Lecture Capture or lecture slides.
Planning and Researching Assignments
• Gathering of resources: books, journal articles, electronic resources – to complete the assignments.
• Reflective reading: ensuring students draw on a good range of resources and compare different angles.
• Critical examination of sources - looking out for different points of view from different scholars and asking ‘who is right, and why?’ Looking for hard evidence to support ideas.
• Extensive research into chosen topic (supported by small group seminars).
• Collectively negotiating content and responsibilities for group presentation.
Presentation of Assignments
• Reflective writing: drafting, completing, proof-reading the written assignment and complying with appropriate presentational styles.
• Creating and checking presentation materials, rehearsing presentations, etc.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

• Contribution to classes.
• Discussion with tutors (as appropriate)
• Specific assignment support in small group seminars

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 - 3,50070.00
Presentation15 minute Group Presentation30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit will take the form of a 4000-4500 word essay.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/08/2020 08:43:25


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