Critical Theory and Performance (Q3260)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

Critical Theory and Performance introduces you to a number of significant critical frameworks that have emerged since the 19th century, which have come to shape our understanding of culture, politics and society, placing particular emphasis on what they illuminate about the study of theatre. You are encourage to think about and apply theoretical positions to the related fields of drama, theatre and performance and to consider what these reveal about the ways in which performances are produced, performed and read by audiences, as well as the broader social and political implications of these activities. Through seminar discussions and presentations you will extrapolate and apply the critical ideas in which they are introduced to a diverse range of performative materials. Potential topics covered on the module include: 

  • Marxism/Materialist theory
  • Theories of ideology
  • Post-structuralism and deconstruction
  • Performativity
  • Feminism
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Postcolonialism

The module seeks to enable you to become more comfortable reading and applying theory and to develop a sharper critical attitude towards the study of theatre and performance.



100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Group presentation)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.