Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Successful completion of Part 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 2 hour Lecture-Seminar-Workshop


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Group presentation and documentation  40%
Semester Assessment Essay (3000 words)  60%
Supplementary Assessment Presentation plan and essay (1500 words)  40%
Supplementary Assessment Essay (3000 words) - (To a new title)  60%

Learning Outcomes

  • Critically analyse selected texts in their social, political, historical and theatrical contexts
  • Organise informed and original arguments reflecting research and independent thought in the subject area of the course.
  • Make an effective presentation as part of a group based on the analysis of course material selected by the module coordinator.
  • Demonstrate the ability to meet the challenge of designing appropriate performances of selected scenes from the texts studied

Brief description

Students will be required to read a series of 17th Century play texts chosen from selected authors of the period. These will include an introduction to baroque aesthetics of spectacle and the 17th century 'theatrum-mundi' metaphor in Calderon, French absolutism and neo-classical works by Racine and/or Moliere, as well as selected examples of English Restoration comedy under Charles II. The focus for discussion in the lectures and seminars will be to critically examine and historicise the performance context for these works from a contemporary perspective. Students will look at examples of 17th century stage and architecture and baroque set design and investigate baroque dance styles and acting techniques. The aim is to critically confront the historical challenges of these texts by exploring 17th century libertinism and gender politics in a meaningful engagement with contemporary issues in postmodernism, visual culture and social spectacle.


Provisional schedule of lectures:

1. Theatre of the Baroque Age: The Aesthetic Politics of Spectacle

2. The 17th Century Theatrum-Mundi-Metaphor: Calderon: Life is a Dream

3. French Absolutism and Louis XIV: The Dancing Monarch and his Playwrights

4. Moliere: Tartuffe

5. Racine: Phaedra

6. The English Restoration Playhouse: Theatre and Politics under Charles II

7. Libertinism, Fashion and the Politics of Power: Etherege, Man of Mode

8. Honorable Women, Whores and Courtesans: Social Identity and Gender Politics in Aphra Behn's The Rover

9. Contemporary Shifts from Baroque to Postmodern: Monteverdi, L'Orfeo by Trisha Brown (1998)

10. Power Politics in the Age of Globalization and Media: Racine, Britannicus by Robert Woodruff (2007)


The module sets out to intertwine methods in theatre historiography with contemporary approaches to performance as critical practice. Studying the 17th century will allow students to examine reverberations between baroque aesthetics and the contemporary society of spectacle.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication * Students' oral and written communication skills will be developed (e.g. appropriate language and style, accuracy, precision and ability to be concise) * Opportunities will be given through interactive lecture-demonstration and discussion sessions for students to display confidence in using their speaking and listening skills when communicating their ideas * Students will be required to present a 15 minute presentation where they will be encouraged to make use of audio-visual support as well as verbal communication skills
Improving own Learning and Performance * Students will be able to develop their skills of information location, bibliographic resources and interdisciplinary research methodology * Students will be given the opportunity to expand on their effective note-taking skills * Students will develop the ability to analyse, interpret, evaluate and integrate knowledge and understanding gained from lectures, dramatic texts as well as performance so as to encourage new ideas * Students will be given the opportunity to design small-scale independent research projects and topics.
Information Technology *Students will be given the opportunity to develop their authorial and note-taking skills during lecture-demonstrations and in preparation of the oral and written assignments *Students will be given opportunities to develop their skills using the CPR archive's audio-visual resources, electronic databases and retrieval of sources both on the web and on the UWS LIS *Students will develop their skills when referencing from the web and related sources, whilst the ability to evaluate (not describe) and the ability to be selective in using these materials are also essential key skills. *E-mail and Blackboard will be major forms of communication and information-sharing in this module and students will be given the assignment to actively engage in these processes by contributing their work to the online forum *The Department stipulates that students must present their written assignments in type-script and according to the MLA-Style Guide. They must acquire basic word-processing skills.
Personal Development and Career planning * Students will be given the opportunity to evaluate current knowledge and skills and set targets for self-improvement * Students will be encouraged to take increasing responsibility for managing their own learning * Students will be encouraged to build upon the knowledge gained from lectures through developing skills in self study (supported by the general and specific reading lists and other resources distributed throughout the module)
Problem solving * Problem identification and analysis, particularly when exploring theatre and performance research from a theatre/dance focused comparative perspective corporeality and the body * Ability to choose from a variety of related source materials as well as organize and critically assess research material from an interdisciplinary perspective * Skill to evaluate methodological choices and approaches when using interdisciplinary sources
Research skills * Students will be able to develop their skills of information location, bibliographic databases and interdisciplinary research methodology * Students will be given the opportunity to expand on their effective note-taking skills * Students will develop the ability to analyze, interpret, evaluate and integrate knowledge and understanding gained gained from lectures, dramatic text as well as performance analysis so as to encourage new ideas * Students will be given opportunity to design small-scale independent research projects and topics
Subject Specific Skills * Describing, theorising, interpreting and evaluating performance texts and performance events from a range of critical perspectives * Reading the performance possibilities implied by a script, score and other textual or documentary sources * Engaging in research, whether independent, group or performance-based * identifying and interpreting the cultural frameworks which surround performance events and on which these events impinge and taking these into account in creating and/or interpreting performances * Making records of performance, using skills in notation and/or documentation * Working within a group to make performance.
Team work * Team work will be developed in preparation for the oral report as well as through interactive lecture and seminar participation * Group work and seminar collaboration will empower the student to develop their teamworking and leadership skills.


This module is at CQFW Level 6