Performance and the World

Subject ENGL30048 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170 hours across the semester, including class time.

Prerequisites: None
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:


Dr Paul Rae


Paul Rae

Subject Overview:

This subject is a study of performance in its many modalities around the world. It brings together the areas of theatrical performance in traditional theatre venues, avant garde and experimental performance in non-traditional including outdoor public spaces, dance both traditional and contemporary, and a range of comparative cultural performances that may include global activism and protest, sporting events, festivals and spectacles. Students will examine the impact of globalisation on performance practice and the effects of digital access to performances from around the world. They will also consider the role of the audience and spectatorship in reception and interpretation and develop an understanding of how meaning is negotiated and contested. Texts and performances might include global Shakespeare, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Asian performance, Indigenous performance, Dance Theatre, the Occupy Movement and Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies. Students can choose options that include archival research and field work and will have the opportunity to view performance live and on DVD.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the subject students should have:

  • the understanding of the processes and techniques associated with research in the creative arts and demonstrate an appreciation of cultures and societies outside of Australia;
  • the ability to recognize and explain the key modalities of performance studies;
  • the ability to compile a bibliography including traditional text and electronic media sources;
  • gained effective time management skills in the completion of a self-directed research project;
  • the ability and self-confidence to comprehend complex concepts;
  • the written skills to develop a critical discussion of performance and present essay work at an advanced level.

A 1500 word essay 40% (due mid-semester) and a 2500 word research essay 60% (due in the examination period). This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Recommended Texts:

Marvin Carlson, Performance: A Critical Introduction, Second Edition, Routledge, 2003.

Jon McKenzie, Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance, Routledge, 2001

Maurya Wickstrom, Performance in the Blockades of Neoliberalism: Thinking the Political Anew, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

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:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • demonstrate sound and independent critical and ethical thinking in their choice of materials and processes;
  • be able to present written and oral communication to a professional standard regarding their treatment and material choices;
  • be able to engage in critical thinking and analysis by communicating arguments and ideas effectively;
  • develop understanding of social, ethical and cultural contexts.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: English and Theatre Studies
Related Breadth Track(s): Theatre Studies

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