Popular Performance: Pubs, Clubs and Citizenship - DRAM3460

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 4 30 (15) Sophie Quirk checkmark-circle


This module will introduce first year students to ideas of theatre and performance as sites of citizenship, through exploration of contemporary, popular forms such as music gigs, performance poetry and comedy. Students will learn to identify and analyse key features and techniques present in popular performance forms, and to relate performances to their commercial, cultural and political contexts. This will include understanding of how 'DIY'/commercialist principles of production shape the work, and discourses that position performances as fun/difficult, legitimate/illegitimate and as high/low culture. They will explore how popular performances interact with the politics of government, identity and taste, and will be introduced to key concepts and debates on the usefulness of popular entertainment in shaping citizenship and public opinion. Students will be encouraged to reflect upon the forms of popular culture which they themselves enjoy, exploring the extent to which these shape their own attitudes and behaviours, and will create pop-up performances which demonstrate this awareness. By the end of the module, students will have acquired a foundational understanding of: popular performance as a genre; performance as reflection of its cultural and political contexts; the extent to which performances implicate their creators and audiences as citizens.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 44
Private study hours: 256
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
Essay (2000 words) (40%)
Performance plus Q&A (60%)

Reassessment methods:
Like for Like

Indicative reading

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The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages: https://kent.rl.talis.com/index.html

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Understand definitions of popular performance, and confidently navigate tensions between them;
2 Identify and analyse, at an introductory level, key features and techniques present in popular performance forms;
3 Understand debates on the enjoyment of popular culture as an expression of, or potential detriment to, social citizenship;
4 Understand politics as encompassing government, identity and taste;
5 Identify both overt and implicit ideologies at work in performance made by both themselves and others;
6 Reflect upon their own political and cultural attitudes, and show awareness of how these shape their preferences and creative choices.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Undertake independent research, including finding and applying relevant sources and building a coherent argument;
2 Undertake scholarly analysis of performance, interpreting pertinent data first hand and applying relevant research to develop their understanding;
3 Engage in productive group work practices;
4 Manage workloads and meet deadlines, both individually and in collaboration with a group;
5 Ability to communicate effectively to a variety of audiences and/or using a variety of methods
6 Apply proper academic standards and conventions;
7 Reflect upon their own work and development.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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