Sex, Gender and Performance: Beyond the Binary - DR687

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
5 30 (15)







This module addresses issues that are central to performance studies and to contemporary social and political debates through its focus on the representation and performance of sex, gender and identity. The module explores these ideas in relation to a diverse range of trans-historical performance examples.
Students will explore changing concepts of gender and sexuality and will consider how performance and performers have engaged with these social changes by examining both contemporary and historical case studies. The module explores questions of self, authenticity, performing difference and identities in transition. Students will interrogate performance using a range of theoretical approaches drawn from gender and sexuality studies in dialogue with practical experimentation. Drawing on this knowledge, students will have the opportunity to develop contemporary performance inspired and shaped by the models of practice which they have encountered. Issues of risk and ethics will be core concerns as students develop understanding of how sex, gender and identity can create a performance aesthetic


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 36
Private study hours: 264
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Individual Research Project (3000 words) (50%)
Company Practical Project (50%)

Indicative reading

Aston, E and Harris, G. (2012), A Good Night Out for the Girls: Popular Feminisms in Contemporary Theatre and Performance. Basingstoke: Palgrave
Brooks H. (2015), Actresses Gender and the Eighteenth-Century Stage: Playing Women. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Causey, M and Walsh, F (eds) (2013), Performance, Identity and the Neo-Political Subject. London: Routledge
Gay, J. Goodman, L (2003), Languages of Theatre Shaped by Women, Bristol: Intellect
Gale, M and Stokes J (2007), The Cambridge Companion to the Actress, Cambridge: CUP
Mangan, M (2002), Staging Masculinities, Basingstoke: Palgrave
Ridout, N (2009) Theatre & Ethics, Basingstoke: Palgrave

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of theories, histories and performances of sex/gender.
- Critically analyse and creatively interrogate the ways in which sex and gender are represented and staged.
- Articulate an understanding of the relationship between theatre, drama and performance of different periods, and the material, cultural and historical contexts of sexuality and gender.
- Analyse performance texts using both theoretical and practical perspectives.
- Produce practical work that explores sex and gender ethically and creatively using appropriate and original stimuli and resources.

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