Performance and the Avant-Garde

Subject 673-313 (2009)

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

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1-hour lecture and a 2-hour tutorial/workshop per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

12.5 points of first-year 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:


Assoc Prof Peter Alexander Eckersall


Peter Eckersall

Subject Overview:

This subject examines theories of the avant-garde and notions of avant-garde theatre culture. Students will review the history of the avant-garde in the 20th century with specific attention to early formative experiments, the contribution of Antonin Artaud and the explosion of avant-garde theatre in the 1960s and beyond. Consideration will also be given to the possible crisis in avant-garde theatre in the light of contemporary culture. The avant-gardes' need to be politically and culturally transgressive will be explored through early experiments in unmediated artistic expression and in the contemporary theorisation of cultural experiences as performance.

Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject will understand the processes and techniques associated with research in the creative arts;
demonstrate ability to work successfully with peers;
demonstrate advanced communication skills;
access a broad range of resource material, including traditional text and electronic media.

Written work totaling 4000 words comprising participation in the seminar program, logbook and oral seminar paper of 1500 words 30% (due one week after the class presentation), a research essay of 2500 words 40% (due at the end of semester), and a performance presentation/practical project that identifies and applies theoretical concerns 30% (due at the end of semester).

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Manage time effectively in the completion of a self-directed research project;

  • Demonstrate the ability and self-confidence to comprehend complex concepts;

  • Demonstrate the written skills to present essay work on an approved topic to an advanced level.


This subject is available to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Creative Arts students and may be credited towards a theatre studies major in either course.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Creative Arts
Diploma in Creative Arts
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: English
Theatre Studies Major

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