Module Identifier DR37120  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Mary F Brewer  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   10 x 3 hour Lectures  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Research essay - 2500-3000 words30%
Semester Assessment Independent project 3500 - 4000 words50%
Semester Assessment Two seminar presentations 1: 10 minute presentation to be delivered in pairs (oral feedback will be given). 2: An individual oral presentation in preparation for the research project accompanied by a 500-word proposal 20%
Supplementary Assessment Research essay - 2500-3000 words40%
Supplementary Assessment Independent project 3500-4000 words (accompanied by a 500-word proposal)60%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Articulate the relation between the disciplines of theatre and history in presentation and written form;
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the set of practices and theories that constitute theatre history;
3. Critically consider the politics surrounding the making of theatre history;
4. Understand the role of a range of theatrical elements in creating theatre history;
5. Develop independent research skills by identifying, accessing, and presenting relevant historical research.   

Brief description

The course studies the interaction of theatre with history in order to demonstrate how this contributes to understanding the discipline as a whole. It introduces students to some of the principle methodologies used by theatre historians, and it provides them with the opportunity to gain an experiential knowledge and understanding of the subject.


This course builds upon the broad historical approach to theatre that students encounter on core level one modules. These courses are necessarily of an introductory and survey nature, whereas this module adopts a tighter historical focus and addresses the methodology of theatre history.


The course is divided into two halves. The first half considers: a)   different approaches to theatre history; b) ideology and ethics; d) dissident reading.
Types of theatre history:
   a. Time period based - e.g. 19th century theatre
   b. Descriptive period based - e.g. modernist theatre
   c. Thematic history/the history of ideas - e.g. representation of race   
   d. Infrastructures of theatre history - e.g. politics, economics (funding arrangements), regional factors
2: Theatre as mirror and vehicle of historical change: Case study 1: Suffragette Theatre
3: Theatre as social history: Case Study 2: Modern Feminist Theatre
4: Theatre history and ideology: Case Study 3: Black Arts Movement
5: Mainstream theatre history: resistant reading/writing

The second half of the module concentrates on independent research in theatre history. It focuses on a range of resources used by theatre historians and their uses.   
6: Archival Research: Introduction - Visit to National Library
7: Theatre historiography
a) types of evidence and their uses: e.g. primary/secondary sources; contemporary/subsequent commentaries   
b) resources: play texts, handwritten documents, programs, reviews, performance, video, biographies, costume, posters
c) Interpretive frameworks: source-led and problem-led
8: Case Study: Uncle Tom's Cabin - Part 1
9: Uncle Tom's Cabin - Part 2
10: Conclusion: Approaches and considerations for the future

Module Skills

Problem_solving Through lectures, students presentations and assessments  
Research skills Through visits to record libraries, through using the library to retrieve information and assemble primary and critical materials  
Communication By seminar presentation and discussion, written skills will be developed through the case study and theatre history project  
Improving own Learning and Performance Via feedback on formative assessments  
Team work Via first formative presentation  
Information Technology Use of library catalogs and databases, web-based research  
Application of Number N/A  
Personal Development and Career planning Through reflective practice via formative and summative assessments  
Subject Specific Skills Students will gain practical inter-disciplinary research skills in theatre history and knowledge of research methodology in theatre history. They will improve their ability to situate dramatic texts in a cultural and historical framework.  

Reading Lists

** General Text
Stowe, Harriet Beecher (1853.) A key to Uncle Tom's Cabin : presenting the original facts and documents upon which the story is founded. Together with corroborative statements verifying the truth of the work /by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher (1995.) Uncle Tom's cabin /Harriet Beecher Stowe ; with an introduction by Alfred Kazin. 1857152069
Stowell, Sheila (1992.) A stage of their own :feminist playwrights of the suffrage era /Sheila Stowell. 0719036771
(2002.) Exclusions in feminist thought :challenging the boundaries of womanhood /edited by Mary Brewer. 1902210638
(2004.) The Cambridge companion to Harriet Beecher Stowe /edited by Cindy Weinstein. 0521533090
** Should Be Purchased
Chothia, Jean (1998) New Woman and Other Emancipated Woman Plays Votes for Women Oxford University Press
** Essential Reading
Spender, Dale and Carole Hayman (1985) How the Vote was Won and other Suffragette Plays Methuen
** Recommended Text
Ammons, Elizabeth (1994) Uncle Tom's Cabin: Authoritative Texts, Backgrounds and Contexts, Criticism W.W. Norton
Bean, AnneMarie (1999) A Sourcebook of African American Performance Plays, People, Movements Routledge
Benston, Kimberly (1978) Imamu Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones) A Collection of Critical Essays Prentice-Hall
Brewer, Mary (1999) Race, Sex and Gender in Contemporary Women's Theatre Sussex Academic Press
Downs, Laura Lee (2000) Writing Gender History Hodder Arnold
Elam, Harry and David Krasner (2001) African-American Performance and Theatre History A Critical Reader Oxford University Press
Hawkes, David (2000) Ideology Routledge
Hodge, Bob and Gunther Kress (1993) Language as Ideology Second. Routledge
Johnson, Richard (1982) Making History Studies in History-Writing and Politics Hutchinson Education
Keyssar, Helene (1984) An Introduction to Plays of Contemporary British and American Women Macmillan
Kobialka, Michal (1999) Of Borders and Thresholds Theatre History, Practice and Theory University of Minnesota Press
Logan, Marie-Rose and John Frederick Logan (1980) Rethinking History Time, Myth and Writing Yale French Studies
Malpede, Karen (1992) Women in Theatre: Compassion and Hope Limelight
Postlewaite, T. and B.A. McConachie (1989) Interpreting the Theatrical Past: Essays in the Historiography of Performance Questions for a Feminist Methodology University of Iowa Press
Reilly, Charles (1994) Conversations with Amiri Baraka The Theatre and Coming Revolution University Press of Mississippi
Ryan, Barbara (1992) Feminism and the Women's Movement: Dynamics of Change in Social Movement, Ideology and Activism Routledge
Stefan, Berger, et. al. (2003) Writing History: Theory and Practice Arnold
Sundquist, Eric J. (1986) New Essays on Uncle Tom's Cabin Cambridge
Van Deburg, William (1993) New Day in Babylon The Black Power Movement and American Culture: 1965-75 University of Chicago Press
Amato, Carol J. (Feb. 1999) The World's Easiest Guide to Using the MLA:A User-Friendly Manual for Formatting Research Papers According to the Modern Language Association Style Guide 0964385368
Gibaldi, Joseph (Jan. 2004) MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing 0873529774
Lipson, Charles (Sept. 2006) Cite Right:A Quick Guide to Citation Styles--Mla, Apa, Chicago, the Sciences, Professions and More 0226484750


This module is at CQFW Level 6