Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Researching Performance

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT School of Performing Arts

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will guide students through some of the main issues encountered while researching performance at a higher level. It will discuss both the practical aspects of gathering data, such as interviewing, accessing archival material and information available in electronic format as well as valid ways of organizing and presenting data.

The study-unit will also deal with the responsibilities that come with being a researcher, towards oneself and the institution through which the research is taking place, as well as towards the people you involve in your research, whether they be academics, artists or arts professionals or particularly vulnerable subjects such as children, the disabled, migrants or other subjects whose status in society is at greater than normal risk. Areas of possible conflict with the researcher’s other roles will also be discussed. Students will be made aware of their obligations with regards to university regulation and national legislation on research.

The second part of the study-unit will analyse theoretical aspects that are particularly pertinent to research in the performing arts, such as researching one’s own praxis, philosophical and sociological ways of speaking about the body in performance and analysing the different applications of theatre in society.

Study-unit Aims:

To enable students:
- to become emergent researchers who understand appropriate perspectives on and appreciate the challenges of undertaking research;
- to acquire working skills in research methods appropriate to their fields of study.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- understand the roles and responsibilities of the researcher;
- identify the principle methodologies and models of research within their disciplines;
- be able to assess the relevance of such methods and approaches to their own fields of study;
- have a working knowledge of research resources (UM and WWW) and how to access them;
- develop research strategies for their topics;
- identify relevant ethical issues within their own field of research and implement appropriate measures (including UM procedures on ethical review).

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- demonstrate the ability to select and apply methodologies appropriate to their topics;
- undertake primary data collection and analysis using a range of research methods and approaches.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Auslander, Philip (2008) Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture (London: Routledge)
Blaxter, Loraine et al (2010) How to Research (4th Ed) (Maidenhead: Open University Press)
Denscombe, Martyn (2010) The Good Research Guide (4th Ed) (Buckingham: Open University Press)
Freeman, John (ed) Blood, Sweat and Theory (Farington: Libri Publishing)
Fuschini, Ludevine, Simon Jones, Baz Kershaw, Angela Piccini, (2009) Practice-as-Research in Performance and Screen (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan)
Kershaw, Baz and Helen Nicholson (eds) (2012) Research Methods in Theatre and Performance (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press)
Kershaw, Baz (2000) Site Specifics: Performance, Place and Documentation (London: Routledge)
Nelson, Robin (2013) Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan)
Nicholson, Helen (2005) Applied Drama: The Gift of Theatre (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan)
Postlewait, Thomas and Bruce A. McConachie (eds) (1989) Interpreting the Theatrical Past (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press)
Reinelt, Janelle G. and Joseph R. Roach (eds), (2007) Critical Theory and Performance (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press)

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Ind Onl Lear, Ind Stud, Lect, Practicum, Sem & Tut

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM1 No 50%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 50%

Paula Guzzanti
Stefan Aquilina (Co-ord.)
Jeremy Coleman
Mario Frendo
Lucia Piquero Alvarez
Deborah Williams

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.