Theatre, Politics, Ideology

Subject 106-416 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 2 contact hours/week , 8 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to Postgraduate Diploma or 4th Year Honours in Theatre Studies
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Peter Eckersall

Subject Overview: This subject examines the complex relationships evident between theatre, society and power. We will consider how theatre history is marked by moments of political idealism and resistance. Theatre as an instrument of social reproduction will be considered alongside theatreÂ’s interactions with censorship, propaganda, criticism and advocacy. Play texts from classical, Elizabethan, modern and contemporary eras will be studied alongside contemporary performance events. In essay and seminar presentations, students will theorise and debate the politics of performance.
  • be able to recognise and explain how theatre and performance engage with wider investigations of identity, difference and social issues;
  • be able to manage time effectively in the completion of a self-directed research project;
  • be able to demonstrate the written skills to present essay work on an approved topic to an advanced level;
  • be able to access a broad range of resource material, including traditional text and electronic media;
  • be able to understand the processes and techniques associated with research in the creative arts.
Assessment: Seminar paper discussing a text of a chosen performance, artist or movement that applies an appropriate political context and/or analysis, due mid-semester (2000 words, worth 30%). An essay which critically examines selected critical themes, artists, and/or art forms from those studied during semester, due end of semester (4000 words, worth 70%). Note: Students must complete all assignments by the due date and attend at least 80% of classes to be eligible for assessment.
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available from the University Bookshop.
Recommended Texts: Elaine Aston and Geraldine Harris (eds). Feminist futures? : theatre, performance, theory. Houndmills [England] ; New York : Palgrave Macmillian, 2006. Eckersall, Peter. Theorizing the angura space : avant-garde performance and politics in Japan, 1960-2000. Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2006. Fensham, Rachel & Denise Varney. The doll's revolution : Australian theatre and cultural imagination. Melbourne : Australian Scholarly Pub., 2005. Kershaw, Baz. The radical in performance : between Brecht and Baudrillard. London : Routledge, 1999.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to demonstrate a high level of written communication skills;
  • be able to present written and oral communication to a professional standard regarding their treatment and material choices;
  • be able to demonstrate the ability and self-confidence to comprehend complex concepts.
Notes: This subject is available to Bachelor of Creative Arts (Theatre Studies) honours and Postgraduate Diploma (Theatre Studies) students.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Creative Arts(Honours)
Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Arts
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: English

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