Culture in / as Performance (DRA2072)

StaffProfessor Jerri Daboo - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims


The module aims to introduce students to questions of culture, identity and representation in performance across different cultures and national contexts, to see how performance can be situated in the wider framework of issues of globalization, neoimperialism and postcolonialism. The module will begin by looking at definitions of culture in relation to performance, and will look at theories from performance studies including interculturalism, to see how performance and culture has been investigated historically within the field. The module then introduces students to a range of readings and performance contexts to investigate pertinent contemporary issues of the effects of globalization and neoimperialism, and how performance can be used to either reinforce or resist this. In this way, the research, teaching and learning the student will undertake will offer future employability potential through having a greater awareness of a range of performance forms from different cultural contexts, as well as a deeper understanding of how contemporary issues are affecting and are reflected by different approaches to performance.


ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the issues relating to performance and culture in different contexts, and the flow and adaptation of performance around the world
  • 2. Demonstrate knowledge of the range of scholarly and theoretical approaches to performance and culture
  • 3. Demonstrate an ability to evaluate the relationships between the social, cultural, historical, and ideological contexts and forms of performances

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Contribute research to small groups in effective presentations, to evaluate visual evidence and analyse, critique and manipulate complex material
  • 5. Apply library and IT skills in independent additional research
  • 6. To work effectively with others in small task-orientated groups and to initiate and sustain creative, analytic and interpretative work within strict time limits

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Develop personal research skills using personal initiative; to set personal objectives and to identify and evaluate personal learning strategies
  • 8. Develop group cooperation skills, including the ability to give and receive constructive critical feedback and to improve communication skills and analytic abilities in discussions
  • 9. Collaborate in various groups and group sizes, to learn elements of teamwork and presentation
  • 10. Balance between self-direction and collaborative work; self-management, collaborative working skills, problem solving, critical analysis and valuing own and others ideas and beliefs

Syllabus plan

The module will begin with examining key terms and definitions relating to culture and performance. The first ten  weeks will also look at a key range of theories, and performance contexts. The next two weeks will consist of student presentations, with a concluding session in Week 12

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 Activities33Seminars: a combination of staff-led lectures, student presentations, tasks and discussion in seminars
Guided independent study36Small group presentations. Preparation for week’s readings, tasks, discussions and presentations.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities12Reading, analysis and discussion.
Guided independent study219Reading and individual preparation for presentations, essay writing, portfolio writing.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Draft of essayUp to 500 words1-3,4,6,7-10Verbal

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
Presentation in groups of two or three4015 minutes followed by 5 minutes of questions1-3,4,6,7-10Written
Essay602,000 words1-3,5,7,10Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written submission of presentationwritten presentation1-3,4,6,7-10Referred/deferred period
EssayEssay1-3,5,7,10Referred/deferred period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Balme, Christoher, Decolonizing the Stage (Oxford, 1999) - available online through the library catalogue

Gilbert, Helen, ed, (Post)colonial Stages: critical and creative views on drama, theatre and performance (Hebden Bridge: Dangaroo Press, 1999)

Ley, Graham and Dadswell, Sarah, eds, British South Asian Theatres: A Documented History, (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2011) Ley, Graham and Dadswell, Sarah, eds, Critical Essays on British South Asian Theatre (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2011)

Jacqueline Lo and Helen Gilbert, ‘Toward a Topography of Cross-Cultural Theatre Praxis’ , TDR Vol. 46, No. 3 (Autumn, 2002), pp. 31-53

Neilsen and Ybarra, eds, Neoliberalism and global theatres (Palgrave, 2012), electronic resource

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Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Culture, performance, transnationalism, globalisation