Sex, Gender and Performance: Beyond the Binary - DRAM6870

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


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.


Contact hours

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

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

Individual Research Project (3,000 words) (50%)
Company Practical Project (50%)

Reassessment methods:
Like for Like

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

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

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

1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of theories, histories and performances of sex/gender.
2 Critically analyse and creatively interrogate the ways in which sex and gender are represented and staged.
3 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.
4 Analyse performance texts using both theoretical and practical perspectives.
5 Produce practical work that explores sex and gender ethically and creatively using appropriate and original stimuli and resources.

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

1 Undertake independent, self-managed work on creative and research tasks.
2 Work collaboratively in groups towards creative and research tasks.
3 Manage workloads to meet deadlines.
4 Communicate ideas and arguments effectively and coherently both verbally and in writing.
5 Reflect on learning and development, identifying and addressing areas of strength, and for improvement.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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