Performance and Interpretation (DRA2064)

StaffDr Rebecca Benzie - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module aims to introduce you to a variety of approaches to defining performances and art-forms and the analysis and interpretation of their significance. By its reliance on cutting-edge research by a selection of staff, it will introduce you to the concept of research in the performing arts.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Understand and examine the terms in which different art forms and kinds of performance may be defined and understood
  • 2. Develop a sense of different methodologies applied by researchers in assessing the significance of performances
  • 3. Demonstrate an ability to discuss these terms and methodologies orally and in writing

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. To initiate and sustain analytic and interpretative work within strict time limits and basic technical competence
  • 5. To contribute research to small groups in effective seminar and reading group discussions, to evaluate visual evidence and analyse, critique and manipulate complex material
  • 6. Utilise research tools effectively
  • 7. Apply library and IT skills in independent additional research

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Develop personal research skills using personal initiative; to set personal objectives and to identify and evaluate personal learning strategies
  • 9. Develop group cooperation skills, including the ability to give and receive constructive critical feedback and to improve communication skills and analytic abilities in discussions

Syllabus plan

This module combines research-led teaching from staff in contributions of pre-recorded lectures accompanying weekly live video conversations. Additionally, the convener will provide an online module overview along with a skills session and performance analysis workshop, and essay workshop lecture.  Each member of the teaching team’s contribution to the module will be in two parts, the first recorded lecture concentrating on the definition of a variety of performance, the second on methodologies of its analysis and interpretation. In both instances, reference will be made to a research context of wider publication and alternative modes of analysis provided by the staff researcher.                                                   

Lectures will be linked closely to seminars, in which you will debate, discuss and trial the various theoretical lenses and performance analyses, facilitated by your tutor. You will write a critical portfolio assessing two readings of the theories and contexts, and a performance analysis, and will submit one extended and researched essay on a chosen field selected from the lectures. 

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and teaching activities16.5Lectures, video chats, online workshops and Q&A sessions.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching16.511 x 90 minute seminars
Guided Independent Study267Preparation for lectures and seminars; reading group preparation and attendance; individual research

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Draft or part(s) of critical analysisUp to 750 words1-7, 9Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Critical Portfolio, consisting of two 750-word critical reviews of two academic texts discussed on the module and one 500-word performance analysis402000 words1-4, 6-8Written and Oral
Essay502000 words1-4, 6-8Written
Seminar participation10Continuous1-3, 5, 9Written and Oral

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Critical portfolioCritical portfolio1-4, 6-8Referral/Deferral period
EssayEssay1-4, 6-8Referral/Deferral period
Seminar participationN/aN/aRepeat study or mitigation

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • R. Knowles (2014) Reading the Material Theatre Cambridge: CUP
  • J. Butler(1990/2010) Gender trouble: feminism and the subversion of identity Oxon: Routledge
  • S.Di Benedetto (2010) The Provocation of the Senses in Contemporary Theatre New York: Routledge
  • H.Gilbert (1996)Postcolonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics London: Routledge
  • T.Postlewait (2009) The Cambridge  Companion to Theatre Historiography, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • S.Riley and L.Hunter (2009) Mapping Landscapes for Performance as Research New York: Palgrave
  • E.Striff (2003) Performance Studies, Basingstoke: Palgrave

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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

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Key words search

performance, interpretation, methodology