Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE World and Intercultural Performance

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Theatre Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit expounds upon contemporary juxtapositions between the conceptions of 'world' and 'intercultural' performance. It locates intercultural performance as a multicultural integration that characterised much of Western culture in the 20th century, and critiques its exploitative nature and the commodification and misrepresentation processes that often characterise such intercultural ‘exchanges’. The study-unit also looks into diverse performances from around the world (such as India, Japan, China, Bali).

Lectures will take a world-centred approach to identify both traditional and contemporary practices. These practices are situated within their socio- cultural and performance contexts.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to:
- Extend knowledge of theatre and performance beyond the eurocentric dimension;
- Show the links between East and West through (i) history and (ii) practice;
- Discuss and critique the notion of interculturalism;
- Identify the different relationships between the community and the performance in the various cultural contexts and historical periods.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

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

- Demonstrate knowledge of theatre and performance practices of non-Western theatre;
- Comprehend and re-intepret the concept of 'technique' through the analysis of theatre practice in non-Western countries;
- Critique Western perceptions of interculturalism;
- Evaluate the implications of the viewpoint adopted to examine world performance.

2. Skills:

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

- Read, comprehend, and analyse a range of texts, performances, and other source material;
- Demonstrate skills in comparative thought, self-reflection, and independent learning;
- Present clear and coherent arguments orally and in writing;
- Carry out research using the appropriate research methodologies.

Main Text/s:

- P. Pavis, Theatre at the Crossroads of Culture, trans. L. Kruger (London: Routledge, 1992)
- P.Pavis, ed., Intercultural Performance Reader (London: Routledge, 1996)
- Zeami, On the Art of the Nō Drama: The Major Treatises of Zeami, trans. J. Thomas Rimer and Yamazaki Masakazu (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984)
- E. Barba & N. Savarese, A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology: The Secret Art of the Performer, second edition (London: Routledge, 2006)
- J. Brandon, The Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997)
- N. Savarese, Drama and Performance between East and West (Holstebro, Wroclaw, Malta: Icarus Publishing Enterprise, 2010).

Supplementary readings:

- R. Bharucha, Theatre and the World: Performance and the Politics of Culture (London: Routledge, 1993)
- J. Martin, The Intercultural Performance Handbook (London, Routledge: 2004)
- C. Balme and P.O. Stummer, Fusion of cultures? (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1996)
- C. Balme, Decolonising the Stage (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999)
- H. Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London and New York: Routledge, 2004).

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Seminar & Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (20 Minutes) SEM2 No 40%
Examination (1 Hour) SEM2 Yes 60%


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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.