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English and Theatre Studies

Within the context of a wide-ranging English and Comparative Literature programme, the Joint Degree in English and Theatre Studies approaches the drama from two directions: through the literary analysis of texts and via the understanding of playing places and performance.
The responsibility for the structure and teaching of the joint degree programme in English and Theatre Studies is shared between the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies (up to three modules per academic year) and the School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies (at least one module per academic year).

In each department there is one member of staff who has special responsibility for the joint degree.

The modules fall into three categories:

1. One module each year taught by members of the Theatre Studies Department.  These modules together examine developments in theatrical theory and practice, emphasising, wherever appropriate, those movements from the past that are responsible for creating the theatre of the present.  The significant areas of the Theatre Studies component are the understanding and evolution of performance itself along with the development of critical approaches to the whole complex process of production – the ways in which a text is variable in meaning when tackled from different acting viewpoints; the manner in which stage, auditorium scenery, lighting, etc. have developed in response to changing social conditions, new technology, new ideas and influences from other arts.

2. One module each year taught by members of the English Department.  They focus on plays and their authors, whilst paying attention to the current social and philosophical ideas which lie behind the texts.  These are: British Theatre since 1939; Drama and Democracy; and Shakespeare and Selected Dramatists of his Time.  We hope that the different skills required by the joint degree can all be brought into action and discussed here.  In each case plays are related to theatrical and political history and extensive use is made of DVD, video and film productions in order to study the relationship between texts and specific performances.

3. Modules with a more literary emphasis, largely taught within the English Department.  These allow you to relate your work on drama to the study of other forms and, if you wish, to develop a familiarity with Continental and American writing.  Most modules involve close textual criticism.  In the second year students take an historically based module in English Poetry (Poetry and Society: The Romantic and Victorian Periods) or Seventeenth-century Literature and Culture; otherwise, as in other English degrees at Warwick, you will be given as free a choice as possible regarding the areas in which you can specialise.  Some modules analyse narrative genres (European Epic, European Novel) that can be contrasted to the dramatic shaping of experience.  Others examine literary practice in relation to the development of specific national cultures (Medieval to Renaissance, American Literature).  Others again involve work on another European language and its literature.  Optional modules are also offered by other departments, and students may apply to write a dissertation supervised by the English or Theatre Studies departments in the final year.



Introduction to Theatre OR Introduction to Contemporary Performance Studies
One module selected from:
Language Option


Aspects of Theatre
One module selected from a range of options and approved modules including:
A Comparative Literature module e.g. French or German (for suitably qualified students)
A Special Subject (in English, Theatre or another department).


A Theatre Studies Option

Shakespeare and Selected Dramatists of his Time

Two modules selected from a range of options and approved modules including: 

European Theatre

Literary and Cultural Theory

Eighteenth-century Literature: Virtue, Commerce and Sensibility

A Comparative Literature module e.g. French or German (for suitably qualified students) 

 A Special Subject (in English, Theatre or another department).