Skip to main content

2nd Year Outlines 2013/4

30 CAT Modules

TH237: Audio-Visual Avant-Gardes (Michael Pigott) - Mon 0900-1300 (Film - Aut, G53 -Spr)

50% Assessed
This module explores the history of avant-garde sound, film, video, and installation work from the early twentieth century up to the present day. It will allow you to engage both conceptually and practically with a wide range of forms, movements and practices, and to explore the persistent currents of interaction and exchange between avant-garde and popular cultures. It operates as a broad survey that will help you to make connections amongst a variety of disparate movements and trends, from the 'high art' domain of 1920s avant-garde film to the popular eruptions of early 80s hip-hop, while also providing the opportunity for detailed analysis of a number of key works.

The Autumn term of the module will introduce the complex network of audiovisual art in the twentieth century, and the Spring term will include an extended case study of a particular form, movement or moment in the history of the audiovisual avant-garde. The second term also involves a number of practical projects for you to choose from, focussing around the recreation of key sound, video and installation works. These projects will be presented to the group as a form of practical research into the decision-making process behind the work in question.


TH205: Theatre in the Community (Saul Hewish) - SINGLE HONOURS ONLY - Fri 0900-1300 (G53)

50% Assessed
The Theatre in the Community module provides an exploration of theoretical and practical strategies that are currently in evidence within contemporary community theatre practice. The work ranges through theoretical studies of the key political or social philosophies that have informed community theatre practice. This stage of the module includes a particular emphasis on how theories of criminology have informed theatre work with offenders. It continues through an examination of practical strategies which encompass games and exercises for use with community groups. Within this there is reference to group dynamics, community contexts and the primary objectives achievable within practice of this kind. The module leads towards the devising of a project which will take place in a community context. In the final part of the module, the students get to plan, devise and perform a performance or series of workshops within a community context in the Coventry or Staffordshire area.


TH238: Live Art and Performance (Nicolas Whybrow) Wed 1000-1300 (G53)

50% Assessed
Drawing on a range of international artists, solo performers and companies as examples, this module considers the enormously varied practices of contemporary live art and performance from five main points of view:

• differing explorations of time, taking into account such factors as durational time, repetition, chance, failure and real time events.

• the uses and dynamics of space, including questions around site-specificity, situation and context, public and private space, and displacement.

• the utilisation of bodies as sites of experimentation and/or expression.

• the re-evaluation and implementation of text in contemporary practices.

• the changing role of spectatorship in contemporary performance.

All five of these components naturally interlink and overlap in various ways, so it is difficult to contemplate time, for instance, without simultaneously invoking space. Similarly, the body in performance can be said always to be occupying a space of some sort under a specific regimen of time, and so on. Nevertheless, since live art and performance generally involve forms of experimentation with the elements, aesthetics and categories of performance – including refunctioned uses of textual material and a new awareness of what it means to be an audience – it is useful to make such distinctions in the first instance. In the second instance, issues such as intimacy, participation, activism, everyday life, risk, chance, failure, abjection, mediatisation and documentation will arise as further subjects of investigation.

This module proceeds under ‘laboratory’ circumstances. Alongside seminars, essay writing and workshops or extended projects run by professional practitioners, students are involved in sustained and intensive practical group work focusing on, and experimenting with, the dynamics of live performance. The module component takes its lead from the immediate practices of artists, performers and companies, and the following is a pool from which a selection will be singled out for particular attention during the course of the term: Marina Abramovic, Tehching Hsieh, Francis Alÿs, Sophie Calle, Lone Twin, Ontroerend Goed, Gob Squad, Forced Entertainment, the Wooster Group, Pina Bausch, Franko B, Tomoko Takahashi, Mark Dion, Roman Ondák, Tino Sehgal, Martin Creed, Antony Gormley, Adrian Howells and Richard Dedominici.


TH219: Writing for Performance (Silvija Jestrovic/Richard Shannon) Tue 1000-1300 (G55)

50% Assessed
The goal of this module is to introduce students to different dramaturgical approaches and creative processes embodied in a range of textual forms–from traditional dramatic writing to performance scenarios. The main purposes of the module are to enable students to develop their practical and creative skills in playwriting and also their critical skills in exploring the strategies and processes involved in their own work and that of notable practitioners.

Through a combination of writing workshops, critical seminars, and discussions students will be exposed both to traditional dramaturgical thinking rooted in cause and effect logic and to nonlinear writing based on principles of montage, association and intuition. Constituent elements of the dramatic text such as action, character, dialogue, space and ways in which they function within different dramatic structures will be explored simultaneously with more experimental and interdisciplinary approaches to playwriting rooted in visual art and popular culture. The relationship between the playwright and the context within which she/he writes will also be taken into account.

The module aims to expose students to different techniques and strategies of the playwriting craft, while at the same time encouraging them to toy with “dramaturgical rules” in search for their individual voices as writers.

 

TH210: Marketing (Caroline Griffin) - SINGLE HONOURS ONLY Wed 1100-1300 (G56)

75% Assessed
This module will provide an overview of the theory and practice of strategic marketing and audience development for theatre, with a special emphasis on practical application. Over the course of module we will look at general marketing theory, the special challenges of marketing creative products and the use of market intelligence and data. We will also look at different organisational approaches to being audience focused, and associated implications for programming, resource management, internal communications and organisational structures. Other specific areas to be covered will include marketing events on tour, festival marketing, using social media and audience research.

Students will be required to work on a specific project within an existing arts organisation, using them as a case study for an audience-focused or marketing project. The combination of taught sessions and placement work will ensure that students who undertake this module will have skills and experiences relevant to many aspects of the theatre as a workplace.


15 CATS - AUTUMN

TH229: Pantomime, Culture and Ideology

50% Assessed
This module option will commence with a discussion of pantomime today. We will then look at the origins of the British pantomime tradition in the commedia del arte, the development of English pantomime in the eighteenth century, Regency pantomime (when the clown, Grimaldi, became prominent), and Victorian pantomime, when the modern form we know today began to emerge from music hall, melodrama and burlesque. Finally, we will return to the twentieth-twenty-first centuries. A particular emphasis of this option will be on pantomime’s social, cultural and ideological functions and on its treatment of issues such as race, gender and class.


TH226: 20th Century Irish Theatre (Wallace McDowell) Tue 1400-1700 (G56)

50% Assessed
The module will investigate:

• How ‘Irishness’ was depicted in a range of plays and performances in the 20th Century

• How the staging of Irish plays are affected by concepts such as landscape, memory, history and myth

• How the Irish theatre reflected the formation of an Irish nation and was used to both rehearse and critique Ireland after the English

• How Irish playwrights have used major historical events to reflect on contemporary events

• How Irish plays and performances have engaged with the wider international world

NB: You may only take this once - in the Autumn or Spring term


TH222: Theatre in the African Context (Yvette Hutchison) Thu 1600-1800 (G56)

50% Assessed
The aim in this module is to trace the diversity of theme and form of theatre in Africa in the post-colonial context. It will particularly focus on the influences on the development and changes (social, political and economic) that have affected the development of theatre in Africa. It will look at a diversity of cultural and linguistic contexts (North, West, East and Southern African), where necessary looking at plays in translation.


TH235: Wired (Tim White) Mon 1600-1800 (Edit Suite)

100% Assessed
With a focus on video production, this module will include sessions on scriptwriting, videography, lighting and sound, editing and compositing and colour grading. The module will consist of taught sessions in the first five weeks followed by tutorial and advice sessions after reading week where scripts and footage would be discussed and specific instruction given. It is expected that students would commit to additional hours to undertake preparation, filming and editing the video which would constitute the final submission to be screened in Week 10. The course is 100% assessed.


TH231: Plays, Playing Places & Performances in Elizabethan & Jacobean England (Margaret Shewring) Thu 1330-1530 (G52)

50% Assessed
This module considers the range of performance styles and spaces developed by, and available to, Shakespeare and his contemporaries as they established playing as a lucrative profession in Elizabethan and Jacobean England. Each seminar concentrates on a specific aspect of performance as a script is brought to life by a particular playing company at a particular venue. Amateur as well as professional performance is discussed, taking into account provincial as well as metropolitan performance occasions and acknowledging European influence where appropriate. Each student will be required to read at least one play for each seminar. In addition, each student will be required to contribute one short seminar presentation during the term. The presentation may be on a specific performance space, or playing company, or performer, or on a particular aspect of performance.

Plays will include: Anon., The Famous Victories of Henry V; Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, The Maid’s Tragedy; Thomas Dekker, The Shoemaker’s Holiday; Ben Jonson, Bartholomew Fair; Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine, Part I; Thomas Middleton, Women Beware Women and A Game at Chess; William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Henry V; As You Like It; Twelfth Night; Hamlet; John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi; a selection of Court Masques and entertainments.


TH236: Independent Project (various) - SINGLE HONOURS ONLY (tutorials by arrangement)

or

100% Assessed
This module offers an opportunity for students to pursue a piece of independent or group work that develops a particular line of investigation. The open brief would enable students to embark on theatre research, practice-based, creative writing, curatorial, design, video, technical or web-projects with supervision from a member of staff. At the point of choosing options, student(s) would submit an idea for a project that outlined aims, research questions and outputs. Staff would review these proposals and allocate a supervisor if the project was feasible and appropriate for honours level study.
NB: You may only take this once - in the Autumn or Spring term


15 CATS - SPRING

TH239: Stage and Contexts of 9/11 (James Harding) Thu 1600-1800 (G56)

50% ASSESSED
The 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 has been cause for reflection not only on the deeply problematic political course that the U.S. and Europe have taken during the last decade, but also on specific communities that were profoundly affected by that course and, indeed, by the events of 9/11 themselves. The performance community is no exception here. Within that community, the events of 9/11 precipitated a fundamental rethinking of the role that the arts have to play in history, in politics and in the lives of citizens in a democratic society. In simplest terms, then, this module will examine how, over the past decade, performance communities have defined themselves and their roles as artist/citizens in relation to profoundly significant political events. Taking “Stages and Contexts of 9/11” as its general title, this module will have as its specific focus an inquiry into the dramatic, theatrical and performative exploration of the cultural and political contexts preceding, surrounding and following the events of September 11, 2001. As a larger objective, the module will challenge students to learn how consider a complex interdisciplinary nexus of ideas drawn from the study of recent history, of competing political and cultural ideologies and of the performing arts.


TH226: 20th Century Irish Theatre (Wallace McDowell) Tue 1400-1700 (G56)

50% Assessed
The module will investigate:

• How ‘Irishness’ was depicted in a range of plays and performances in the 20th Century

• How the staging of Irish plays are affected by concepts such as landscape, memory, history and myth

• How the Irish theatre reflected the formation of an Irish nation and was used to both rehearse and critique Ireland after the English

• How Irish playwrights have used major historical events to reflect on contemporary events

• How Irish plays and performances have engaged with the wider international world

NB: You may only take this once - in the Autumn or Spring term


TH240: Religion, Secularity, and Affect in the Modern World (Milija Gluhovic) Fri 1330-1530 (G55)

50% Assessed
This inter-disciplinary course explores the ways in which theatre, performance and film intervene into debates about religion, secularity, and affect in the modern world. Even a cursory look at recent world events such as the storm over the sex abuse scandals within the Catholic Church, the ire over the Danish cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, the demolition of the Babri mosque in India by right-wing Hindu groups, the hijab (heardscarf) controversy in Europe, the protests within the Sikh community in Birmingham around Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti’s play Behzti (2004) exposes the fragility of claims of a secular public sphere. The increasing public contestations of the secular ideal mobilize passionate performances through claims and counter-claims that confirm the importance of religion in public life. Our increasingly globalized world has not rendered religion irrelevant but rather ever more powerful. How do we understand this seeming paradox? What do we mean by “secular”? How has the category of “secular” been historically constructed in opposition to religion? What role does religion play in the shaping of national identity? Why is our increasingly globalized world confronted with the concurrent rise in religious extremism? How are progressive sexual politics in Western democracies instrumentalised to discriminate against religious minorities? We will consider how a variety of artists and scholars tackle these questions.


TH223: Composing, Listening, Performing (Tim White) Thu 1100-1300 (G52)

50% Assessed
The module seeks to promote an understanding of a form that has functioned as a constituent element of theatre, shares with it a number of characteristics and in the last century, arguably, has brought into play what we now regard as 'performance'. The module's concern with composers,, listeners and musicians provides students with a counterpoint to the more familiar notions of playwright, audience and actor and it is the distinctions and points of contact between these two sets of activities and their attendant forms that will precipitate the practical project at the end of the term.

This optional second year module reflects and extends the emphasis on the interdependence of theory and practice in the Theatre Studies undergraduate programme. The work of John Cage continues to reverberate through Performance Studies; his centrality is recognised in the course structure that positions his interventions at the fulcrum of the module (listening). The tripartite division of the course acknowledges in turn the activities that constitute music as a time-based art, commencing with avantgarde composition in the first half of the twentieth-century, continuing with experimental music and its concerns with the reception of the work and concluding with what 'performing' music might entail. There will be singing.


TH233: Socially-Engaged Performance (Susan Haedicke) Mon 1330-1530 (G52)

100% Assessed
Socially-Engaged Performance looks at what is now called the ‘social turn’ in contemporary art by examining issues and practices of this participatory performance or applied theatre (most often referred to today as ‘social practice’). It explores the critical debate around this work and looks at a limited number of case studies from around the world.


TH236: Independent Project (various) - SINGLE HONOURS ONLY (tutorials by arrangement)

or

100% Assessed
This module offers an opportunity for students to pursue a piece of independent or group work that develops a particular line of investigation. The open brief would enable students to embark on theatre research, practice-based, creative writing, curatorial, design, video, technical or web-projects with supervision from a member of staff. At the point of choosing options, student(s) would submit an idea for a project that outlined aims, research questions and outputs. Staff would review these proposals and allocate a supervisor if the project was feasible and appropriate for honours level study.
NB: You may only take this once - in the Autumn or Spring term