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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PECI1704 Exploring Performance: Cultures and Contexts

20 creditsClass Size: 75

Module manager: Dr Maria Kapsali

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module asks students to consider performance and other cultural objects in the broad context of cultural studies, sociology and selected theoretical perspectives. Students are encouraged to develop independent thinking and interpretation skills in triangulating between these critical contexts, objects for interpretation or case studies and research questions which they will determine with the support of their seminar tutors


On completion of this module, students should be able to:

*interpret performance and define its principal relationships to a range of contexts in the cultural industries, education and community;
* recognise and evidence a foundational understanding of concepts, theories, problems and debates in the study of culture, its production, reception and critique;
* recognise performance as a cultural objects and be able to analyse it through selected theoretical perspectives;
* recognise and use appropriate conventions of academic writing and presentation using a variety of media (text, slides, video, elements of practice.
* make links between theory and practice, use practical exploration to illuminate theoretical concepts and apply theoretical contexts in the analysis of practice.
* make links between theory and practice, use practical exploration to illuminate theoretical concepts and apply theoretical contexts in the analysis of practice.

Learning outcomes
Critical and contextual insight into the breadth of the conceptual terrain within cultures of performance (eg performance, performativity, ritual, creativity, aesthetics, culture, diversity, practice, cultural industries, critique)
Introduction to theoretical traditions ranging from feminism, semiotics, structuralism, to cultural objects and contexts across a broad range of examples. This may include,
* performance modes of production (patronage, commerce, state sponsorship, independent, avant-garde);
*relationships of performance and everyday life (social acting, cultural performance, direct theatre)
*performance as representation (mimesis, realism, narrative, deconstruction);
* the role of the audience (reception, spectacle, 'spectatorship', live art);
* performance and social impact (specificity of performance efficacy, evaluation, ethics);
*representation of performance (performance meta-knowledge, critical strategies).


The module has two interconnected aims: to introduce students to the notion of performance as a cultural practice that takes place across a number of contexts; and to familiarise them with several critical lenses and theoretical perspectives through which we can examine performance, within theatre and beyond.
The Module explores key terms such as performance, performativity, value, culture and participation. It will also introduce a range of critical lenses that can be used for the analysis of performance, such as semiotics, theories of embodiment, historiography, and gender theory. It thus examines performance in relation to several contexts:

• Relationships between performance and everyday life (social acting, cultural performance).
• Performance as an embodied experience and the role of the body in encountering and making sense of performance.
• Performance as a means of activism and intervention and/or examples of activism as performance.
• Performance, cultural value and social impact (specificity of performance efficacy, evaluation, ethics).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment13.003.00
Private study hours171.50
Total Contact hours28.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Preparatory reading for weekly lecture/ seminar: 36 hours
Further reading/ research after each session: 27 hours
Research, drafting and essay writing: 70 hour
Individual research and preparation for group presentation: 34

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Group discussion and small group tasks on the week’s topic in seminars
Q+As in preparation for both assessments in lecture and seminars
Formative feedback on presentation excerpts in seminars

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay 3000 - 350050.00
Oral Presentation20-25 minutes50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit will be a portfolio of 3000-3500 words for the portfolio. And 8 powerpoint slides with annotations for the verbal presentation.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 13:18:25


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