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Throughout the 2021-22 academic year, we will be prioritising face to face teaching as part of a blended learning approach that builds on the lessons learned over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic. Teaching will vary between online and on-campus delivery through the year, and you should read guidance from the academic department for details of how this will work for a particular module. You can find out more about the University’s overall response to Coronavirus at: https://warwick.ac.uk/coronavirus.

TH332-30 Performing Gender and Sexuality

Department
Theatre and Performance Studies
Level
Undergraduate Level 3
Module leader
Wallace McDowell
Credit value
30
Module duration
18 weeks
Assessment
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

TH332-30

Module aims

The module analyses ways in which performance engages with, reveals, challenges, deconstructs and resists dominant norms of gender and sexuality. A key focus will be on how performances rreflect and contribute to shifts in circulating discourses of power. Starting with the traditionally 'umarked' dominance of white heterosexual men, students will engage with a wide range of plays, practitioners amd performance artists in order to interrogate notions of the 'other' as performances of gender and sexual identities. The module will look at theoretical framework of gender and sexuality, at the same time exploring the intersections with other elements of performance of identity such as social class and ethnicity.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

This module will engage with a number of examples from a range of performance practices to examine the roles that such performances have played in contribution to debates and discourses around gender and sexuality. Examples will be drawn from performance art, performance poetry, plays, radio drama and stand-up comedy to allow the students to engage in analytical debate. Each weekly three-hour seminar will focus on a particular example of performance and explore its own particular contribution to gender and sexuality discourses. In each case the performance material will be framed by sets of weekly theoretical, cultural and historical readings in order to properly contextualise the work.

Plays looked at may include: Glengarry Glen Ross (Mamet); Frozen (Lavery); Far Away (Churchill); Black Watch (Burke); Duck (Feehily); The History Boys (Bennett); Belle Reprieve (Bourne, Shaw, Shaw, Weaver); Airsick (Frost)Phaedra's Love (Kane); Behzti, (Bhatti)

Other performers and performances examined at may include Franko B, Ron Athey, Orlan, Marina Abramovic, DV8's Enter Achilles, Mickey B, material from the Theatre of Witness Programme, and Paris is Burning.

Other documentary material will include Invisible Women and Miss Representation, both about gender imbalance in the media.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Discuss the ways in which late twentieth century and twenty-first century performance artists, theatre practitioners and playwrights have explored the relationships between gender, sexuality and power in relation to their historical and cultural contexts.
  • Analyse a range of plays and performances in order to identify and explore ways in which dominant norms around gender and sexuality have been challenged and resisted.
  • Explore how performances of gender and sexuality contribute to an understanding both concepts in terms of the agency of bodies in the social world.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how key conceptual frameworks can inform the creation and analysis of contemporary theatre/performance.
  • Engage in research-based investigation of appropriate primary and secondary source material.
  • Communicate what they have learnt both orally and in writing.
Indicative reading list

Adams, Rachel and David Savran, (eds). The Masculinity Studies Reader. Oxford: Blackwell, 2002. Print.
Alexander, Bryant Keith. Performing Black Masculinity. Plymouth: Altamira Press, 2006. Print.
Aston, Elaine. An Introduction to Feminism & Theatre. London: Routledge, 1995. Print.
Aston, Elaine and Geraldine Harris, (eds). Feminist Futures? Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007. Print.
Aston, Elaine and Geraldine Harris. Performance Practice and Process: Contemporary [women] Practitioners. Basingstoke: Palgrace, 2008. Print.
Beynon, John. Masculinities and Culture. Buckingham: OUP, 2002. Print.
Bourdieu, Pierre. Masculine Domination. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2001. Print.
Brod, Harry and Michael Kaufman, (eds).Theorising Masculinities. London: Sage Publications, 1994. Print.
Buchbinder, David. Studying Men and Masculinities. Abingdon: Routledge, 2013. Print.
Butler, Judith. Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. London: Routledge, 1997. Print.
Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble. 2nd edition. London Routledge, 1999. Print.
Carabine, Jean, (ed). Sexualities: Personal Lives and Social Policy. Bristol: The Policy Press, 2004. Print.
Case, Sue-Ellen. Split Britches. Abingdon: Oxford, 1996. Print.
Case, Sue-Ellen. Feminism and the Theatre. 2nd edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2008. Print.
Connell, R. W. Masculinities. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005. Print.
Connell, R. W. Gender. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2002. Print.
Dolan, Lill. Theatre & Sexuality. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010. Print.
Edwards, Jason. Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick. Abingdon: Routledge, 2009. Print.
Edwards, Tim. Cultures of Masculinity. Abingdon: Routledge, 2006. Print
Ferrebe, Alice and Fiona Tolan. Teaching Gender. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2012. Print.
Forth, Christopher E. Masculinity in the Modern West. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2008. Print.
Gale, Maggie B. and Viv Gardner, (eds). Women, Theatre and Performance. Manchester: MUP, 2000. Print.
Goodman, Lizbeth with Jane de Gay, (eds). The Routledge Reader in Gender and Performance. London: Routledge, 1998. Print.
Haywood, Chris and Mairtin Mac An Ghaill. Men and Masculinities. Buckingham: OUP, 2003. Print.
Hearn, Jeff and David Morgan, (eds). Men, Masculinities and Social Theory. London: Unwin Hyman, 1990. Print.
hooks bell. Ain't I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism.London: Pluto Press, 1981. Print.
Ince, Kate. Orlan: Millennial Female. Oxford: Berg, 2000. Print.
Jones, Amelia. Body Art: Performing the Subject. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998. Print.
Keyssar, Helene. Feminist Theatre and Theory. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1996. Print.
Lea, Daniel and Berthold Schoene, (eds). Posting the Male. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2003. Print.
Mac An Ghaill, Mairtin. The Making of Men. Buckingham: OUP, 1994. Print.
Mac An Ghaill, Mairtin, (ed). Understanding Masculinities. Buckingham: OUP, 1996. Print.
Mangan, Michael. Staging Masculinities: History, Gender, Performance. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2003. Print.
McInnes, John. The End of Masculinity. Buckingham: OUP, 1998. Print.
Morgan, David H. J. Discovering Men. London: Routledge, 1992. Print.
Morland, Iain and Annabelle Willox, (eds). Queer Theory. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2005. Print.
Pellegrini, Ann. Performance Anxieties. London: Routledge, 1997. Print.
Redfern, Catherine and Kirsten Aune. Reclaiming the F Word. London: Zed Books, 2010. Print.
Reeser, Todd W. Masculinities in Theory. Oxford: Wiley-Blackswell, 2010. Print.
Richards, MAry. Marina Abramovic. Abingdon: Routledge, 2010. Print.
Schneider, Rebecca. The Explicit Body in Performance. London: Routledge, 1997. Print.
Sedgewick, Eve Kosofsky. Epistemology of the Closet. Berkley: University of California Press, 1990. Print.
Sihra, Melissa, (ed). Women in Irish Drama: A Century of Authorship and Repression. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007. Print.
Walby, Sylvia. The Future of Feminism. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011. Print.
Walsh, Fintan. Male Trouble: Masculinity and the Performance of Crisis. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010. Print.
Weeks, Jeffrey. Sexuality. 2nd edition. London: Routledge, 2003. Print.
Whitehead, Stephen M. and Frank J. Barrett. The Masculinities Reader. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2004. Print.
Whitehead, Stephen M. Men amd Masculinities. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2002. Print.
Wyllie, Andrew. Sex on Stage: Gender and Sexuality in Post-War British Theatre. Bristol: Intellect Books, 2009. Print.

Research element

The assignments will be informed by the student's own research.

Subject specific skills

Discuss the ways in which late twentieth century and twenty-first century performance artists, theatre practitioners and playwrights have explored the relationships between gender, sexuality and power in relation to their historical and cultural contexts.

Analyse a range of plays and performances in order to identify and explore ways in which dominant norms around gender and sexuality have been challenged and resisted.

Explore how performances of gender and sexuality contribute to an understanding both concepts in terms of the agency of bodies in the social world.

Demonstrate an understanding of how key conceptual frameworks can inform the creation and analysis of contemporary theatre/performance.

Engage in research-based investigation of appropriate primary and secondary source material.

Communicate what they have learnt both orally and in writing.

Transferable skills

research skills
analytical skills
communication skills
group-working skills
presentation skills

Study time

Type Required
Seminars 18 sessions of 2 hours (12%)
Private study 264 hours (88%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description

No private study requirements defined for this module.

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A2
Weighting Study time
Essay 30% 79 hours

Essay: There are no set questions for this essay. Each student will draw up a plan for her/his essay that will outline a research proposition for an are of particular interest and a proposed path towards disseminating that research in writing. We will, in the final session of term one, focus on each student's ideas and agree both the proposition and the approach .

Project-based assessment 50% 132 hours

Creative Project: Each student will develop and approach to an area of the performance of gender and sexuality and develop a mode of research dissemination that is not written. Possibilities might include a plan for an installation or an exhibition; guided walking tours; site-specific works; a Each student will meet with me individually at the end of term 2 to discuss and agree the project OR a 5000-word essay that will take three or four illustrative examples of the performance of gender and sexuality and follow the essential criteria of the first essay. All ideas and individual criteria will be agreed at a personal meeting with me in week ten of term two.

Portfolio 20% 53 hours

4 x 500 words
Portfolios: The first half of the module will draw on a set of conceptual ideas that inform the study and discussion of the performances of gender and sexuality. The first assignment will consist of a portfolio of short pieces of writing, each one of 500 words. Each piece should explore as aspect of a conceptual idea and use it to apply to an example of gender and sexuality in social performance. Unlike more extended pieces of writing, the portfolio pieces should be concise and pithy in approach. Think about this assignment as 'raising flags' of interest and concern, things that may well drive you forward in terms of carving aout a research filed of your own and that will inform subsequent, more detailed, assignments.

Feedback on assessment

Written feedback followed by face-to-face meetings.

Courses

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 4 of UENA-QW35 Undergraduate English and Theatre Studies with Intercalated Year
  • Year 3 of UTHA-W421 Undergraduate Theatre and Performance Studies
  • Year 4 of UTHA-W422 Undergraduate Theatre and Performance Studies (with Intercalated Year)

This module is Core option list B for:

  • Year 4 of UFRA-R1W4 Undergraduate French with Theatre Studies

This module is Core option list C for:

  • Year 4 of UITA-R3W4 Undergraduate Italian with Theatre Studies

This module is Option list B for:

  • Year 3 of UTHA-QW34 Undergraduate English and Theatre Studies

This module is Option list G for:

  • Year 4 of UITA-R3W4 Undergraduate Italian with Theatre Studies