DR 894 Thinking Theatre
30 credits (15 ECTS)
First Meeting: Tuesday 18 January 2011
This module familiarises Masters-students in Theatre & Performance Studies (as well as Masters-students from cognate MA-programmes in the Faculty, as an option) with current theories and discourses in the aesthetics of the performing arts, and introduces them to current research areas and projects in the field. The students will jointly benefit from visiting some selected theatre performances in London, Canterbury, or elsewhere, and have thus the opportunity to directly apply and interlink theoretical reflection and practical observation and experience.
In the course of the term, the group will undertake the in-depth study of current research, theory, and scholarship. Students will both have the opportunity to present a research lecture of 15-20 minutes to the class, and to engage in reflexive small-group discussions and case work. There will also be guest lectures/seminars both by members of the department (including Patrice Pavis) and invited external speakers on current research, offering students a wide spectrum of insight into current debates in theatre research and performance aesthetics.
Some Reading on the Topics Covered
* indicates recommended reading prior the beginning of the module
* Erika Fischer-Lichte,The Transformative Power of Performance: A new aesthetics.Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2008.
* Hans-Thies Lehmann,Postdramatic Theatre.Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2006.
Richard Schechner,Performance Theory.New ed. New York and London: Routledge Classics, 2003.
Timothy Murray, ed.,Mimesis, Masochism & Mime: The Politics of Theatricality in Contemporary French Thought.Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1997.
Jacques Rancière,The Emancipated Spectator. London: Verso, 2009.
Janelle G. Reinelt & Joseph R. Roach,Critical Theory & Performance.Rev. Ed., Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007.
On successful completion of the module, students will have gained their (subject-specific) knowledge and understanding of
· current discourses in performance theory and theatre aesthetics
· current research areas, aspects, and topics, undertaken in Theatre & Performance Studies at the forefront of the discipline
· innovative practices and dramaturgies of contemporary performance, and approaches to their analysis
· the interdependence of theory and practice, and their mutual enrichment in the appreciation and creation of theatre art
· the interdisciplinary location and context of performance
Furthermore, students will have developed the following generic skills:
· ability to independently manage and undertake research at advanced level
· skills in retrieving and synthesising information from a number of sources – both primary and secondary; printed and electronic – and in evaluating these critically and appropriately
· ability to listen and productively engage in verbal discussion and argument
· skills in creative and reflexive thinking
· proficiency in presenting complex thoughts and arguments in a coherent and lucid way both verbally and in writing
1. Essay Dissertation of 4-5,000 words (80%).
2. In-class presentation: Dissertation Crit; engagement & contribution (aggregate mark, 20%)
Please direct enquiries about this module to Peter Boenisch.