module specification

SM5020 - Performance, Art and Film Ideas 2 (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Performance, Art and Film Ideas 2
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
225 hours Guided independent study
75 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 35%   Essay (1800 words)
Practical Examination 30%   Group-led live presentation (20 mins per student approx.)
Coursework 35%   Research project (2800 words)
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

Developing from Performance, Art and Film Ideas 1, this module will investigate social and cultural issues that are both enacted and questioned by established texts (“texts” in the broader sense of the term, to include works in theatre, cinema and fine art). Informed by critical theory perspectives, a key emphasis here is on social interactions, as explored in the communication strategies between artwork and spectator, in the social function of a work, and in the political and ideological context depicted in this or embedded in its creation. The module will also establish a sociological study of performance institutions and their organisation within the professional industry.
The aims of this module are to evaluate the social context of performance, art and film, as it is consciously depicted by this or latently inherent to it; to refer to a variety of theoretical perspectives, ranging from critical theories, to sociological concepts, in the analysis of such practices. The learning strategy and indicative syllabus will promote innovative ways of exploring the subject in question, making use of inter-disciplinary, blended learning, field research and creative practice.

Prior learning requirements

Completion and pass (120 credits) of previous level.


The first part of this module will explore how contemporary social and critical perspectives can be used to analyse canonical texts, using Shakespeare or another example as case study. A selection of critical theory theoretical concepts and perspectives, (post-structuralism, post-modernism, materialism, feminism, psychoanalytic theory and post-colonialism) will be investigated and applied to a variety of performance examples. LO1

The module then focuses on how society is depicted in contemporary drama. A selection of modern plays that have dealt with social issues will provide the stimulus for assessed seminar presentations in which students will both contextualise the plays in question and practically workshop these with the rest of the class. LO1, LO2

Part three of the module explores how the institutions of theatre and performance reflect the broader social and cultural context, according to a selection of themes. How does theatre respond to issues like globalisation, education, community outreach, the need for entertainment and the entitlement to human rights? LO2, LO3, LO4

By exploring these topics, students will be given a choice of institutions to research. They will then be guided through the creation of a project portfolio, in which they will focus on a relevant case study of their own choice and utilise this both to apply the concepts explored in the module and as a creative stimulus to propose a working concept: this may be the proposal for a new production idea, for a relevant outreach project or for a new arts organisation. LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce
learning, to foster peer to peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes and make recommendations to themselves for future development.
Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the
curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are
increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

The following learning and teaching strategies are employed in the course of this module:

• multimedia lectures;
• student-led seminars;
• online activities through blended learning approaches;
• practical creative tasks (occasional practical workshops, creative writing, design, photography and videography);
• visits to relevant points of interest;
• interviews with professionals in the industry;
• short professional placements (where applicable);
• interviews with professionals in the industry;
• an interdisciplinary research project;
• live presentations
• essay

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students will be able to:

Cognitive intellectual abilities

1. demonstrate an advanced understanding of the cultural and ideological implications of performance, art and film, whether consciously raised or latently embedded in this, and the ability to analyse and sustain arguments in relation to this;
2. apply the methods of research explored to a variety of performance related contexts, including dramatic texts, performative events, live art, performance institutions and applied performance practices;

Transferable skills
3. engage with the above contexts on both a critical and creative level, initiating and carrying out relevant projects;

Subject specific skills
4. extend their knowledge in relation to the performance industry and its broader cultural context.

Assessment strategy

The assessment modes utilised in this module are intended to promote and test the development of broad academic skills as well as subject specific knowledge and interdisciplinary awarenesses, in line with the learning outcomes.

Essay: here students will write a close analysis of a chosen performance text (e.g. a text or production) and reflect on its theoretical and ideological implications, with reference to the critical theories studied on the module. They will demonstrate their ability to sustain arguments in relation to the ideological implications of the case study and apply relevant theoretical perspectives and research methods. LO1, LO2

Live presentation: this is a group-led task, in which students will apply the theories and techniques employed in class to the exploration of a range of seminal works proposed by their tutor. Here students will be assessed on the ability to critically and creatively engage with such a concept/theme and communicate these through a range of selected applications (e.g. examples from productions, texts, practitioners and institutions) as well as through practical demonstrations. LO2, LO3, LO4

Research project: for this assignment, students will select a theatre/film/arts organisation of their own choice (e.g. a venue, a company, a festival or a particular initiative) and propose a project that may reference its social/cultural ethos. Furthering the complexity of the previous two assessment tasks, here emphasis is placed on applying a variety of methods of research (this may also include statistical analysis and interviews) and communicate this both through a written critical evaluation and through other disciplines, to be featured in the appendix of the work (e.g. photographic and videographic documentation, creative writing etc.). LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4


Core Texts:
Counsell, C. and Wolf, L. (eds) (2001) Performance Analysis, London: Routledge
Fortier, M. (2002) Theory/Theatre, London: Routledge

Additional Reading:
Barry, P. (2009) Beginning Theory, Manchester: MUP
Bennett, S. (1997) Theatre Audiences, London: Routledge
Fischer-Lichte, E. (2005) Theatre, Sacrifice, Rituals: exploring forms of political theatre, NY: Routledge
Freshwater, H. (2009) Theatre and Audience, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Goodman, L. and De Gay, J. (eds) (2000) The Routledge reader in Politics and Performance, London: Routledge
Haedicke, S. (ed.) (2009) Political Performances: Theory and Practice, NY: Rodopi (E-resource)
Jurs-Munby, K. et al (2013) Postdramatic Theatre and the Political, London: Bloomsbury
Langhorne, M. (2006) The Essentials of Global Politics, Oxford: OUP
Kershaw, B. (1992) The Politics of Performance, NY: Routledge
McLuskie, K. and Rumbold, K. (2014) Cultural value in twenty-first-century England: The case of Shakespeare, Manchester: MUP
Patterson, M. (2003) Strategies of Political Theatre, Cambridge: CUP
Prentiki, T. and Preston, S. (eds) (2009) The Applied Theatre reader, London: Routledge
Rae, P. (2009) Theatre and Human Rights, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Rebellato, D. (2009) Theatre and Globalization, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Shaughnessy, N. (2012) Applying Performance, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Stone, R. (2008) Key Sociological Thinkers, NY: Palgrave Macmillan

Online Resources: