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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.

TH993-30 Socially Engaged Performance: Interventions and Provocations

Department
SCAPVC - Theatre and Performance Studies
Level
Taught Postgraduate Level
Module leader
Nadine Holdsworth
Credit value
30
Assessment
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

TH993-30 Socially Engaged Performance: Interventions and Provocations

Module aims

Working through specific national and international case studies, this module is concerned with the creative methodologies being employed nationally and internationally in activist forms of socially-engaged art and new kinds of digital based arts activism and practice. It focuses on the potential of theatrical and performance modes to pose questions and invite reflection through its ability to intervene, surprise, disrupt, subvert, transform and imagine possible future worlds. This may relate to a desire to provoke questions related to environmental issues, capitalism and globalization, poverty and austerity, identity politics or to make manifest voices from the margins of society. The module focuses on two areas of practice that broadly coalesce around the street and the digital. The first half is concerned with the use of theatrical modes in grass-roots activism, protest, parades and street theatre. The second half considers how digital activism and creative approaches to digital practice may be employed to foster networks, collaborations and movements that are about tangible change within and across communities.

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.

Sample Schedule:

WEEK 1: Performance and the politics of intervention
WEEK 2: Exploring key terms in intervention and provoking change: agency, empowerment, participation and social justice
WEEK 3: Performing activism: art, protest and social movements
WEEK 4: Street theatre on the global stage
WEEK 5: Digital activism and digital storytelling
AND
Weekend intensive – including sessions looking at practical skills in creating interventionist performance and workshops supporting the development of their practical assessment for the module (potentially including external guest sessions)

WEEK 6: Assessed project development (student-led 6 hours)
WEEK 7: Networks of change: utilising global platforms to facilitate change
WEEK 8: Assessed project development and observation
WEEK 9: Assessed performance (including self and peer assessment)
WEEK 10: The futures of socially-engaged performance and digital media

Learning outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate a theoretical and practical understanding of a range of radical and subversive forms of performance that aim to intervene in social injustice and provoke change.
  • Demonstrate a theoretical and practical understanding of a range of radical and subversive forms of performance that aim to intervene in social injustice and provoke change.
  • Demonstrate a conceptual and practical understanding of how digital platforms can foster networks that can support social movement and contribute to social justice.
  • Develop key creative and collaborative skills that will enable them to work in professional contexts and to critically reflect on their own and others practice.
Indicative reading list

Alrutz, Megan (2015) Digital Storytelling, Applied Theatre, and Youth: Performing Possibility, Routledge.
Bruhn, John and Rebach, Howard (2007) Sociological Practice: Intervention and Social Change, Springer.
Haedicke, S. (2012) Contemporary Street Arts and Europe: Aesthetics and Politics, Palgrave.
Lichtenfels and Rouse (2013) Performance, Politics and Activism, Palgrave.
Skuse, Andrew et al. (2011) Drama for Development: Cultural Translation and Social Change, Sage.
Vihalemm, Triin et al. From Intervention to Social Change: A Guide to Reshaping Everyday Practices (Solving Social Problems), Routledge.
Vivienne, Sonja (2016) Digital Identity and Everyday Activism: Sharing Private Stories with Networked Publics, Palgrave.
Ziter (2014) Political Performance: From the Six Day War to the Syrian Uprising, Palgrave.

Research element

Students will be researching different socially engaged practices each week and for their assessments will be researching individual topics of interest.

Interdisciplinary

Students will encounter a range of ideas drawn from sociology and critical theory.

International

The module will address a range of national and international case studies during the teaching.

Subject specific skills

Demonstrate a theoretical and practical understanding of a range of radical and subversive forms of performance that aim to intervene in social injustice and provoke change

Conceptualise their own practice in relation to forms of socially-engaged performance, demonstrating an awareness of the possibilities and limitations of live performance and digital media in interventionist practices

Demonstrate a conceptual and practical understanding of how digital platforms can foster networks that can support social movement and contribute to social justice

Develop key creative and collaborative skills that will enable them to work in professional contexts and to critically reflect on their own and others practice.

Transferable skills

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

Study time

Type Required
Seminars 8 sessions of 3 hours (59%)
Tutorials 1 session of 1 hour (2%)
Project supervision 2 sessions of 1 hour (5%)
Other activity 14 hours (34%)
Total 41 hours
Private study description

No private study requirements defined for this module.

Other activity description

weekend intensive in week 5 (14 hours)

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
Creative project 80% 180 hours

Creative project (performance or digital) that offers an intervention into an area of social or political concern

Critical Review 20% 40 hours

Critical Review involving the submission of 2 x 1500-word pieces critiquing their own practice and the practice produced by others.

Feedback on assessment

Creative project (performance or digital) that offers an intervention into an area of social or political concern (formative feedback ¿ oral/summative feedback ¿ written)\r\nCritical review involving the submission of 2 x 1500-word pieces critiquing their own practice and the practice produced by others (written feedback).\r\n

Courses

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 1 of TTHS-W440 Postgraduate Taught Applied Theatre: Arts, Action, Change

This module is Option list B for:

  • Year 1 of TGDA-L801 Postgraduate Taught Global Sustainable Development