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Week 1 - Introduction - Why Theory? - Susan Haedicke

The introductory class will address the question of ‘why theory’ as it explores the critical tools that theory can provide.


Week 2 - Theories of Democracy: Consensus & Dissensus I - Susan Haedicke

The unit on Theories of Democracy: Consensus and Dissensus will explore important texts, primarily from the Social

Sciences, that provide an overview of concepts/definitions of democracy and that examine some key aspects of democratic theories around notions of consensus and dissensus.

Chantal Mouffe, ‘Democratic Citizenship and the Political Community’. Dimensions of Radical Democracy: Pluralism, Citizenship, Community. Ed. Chantal Mouffe. London and New York: Verso, 1992. 225-239.

Jacques Rancière, Dissensus: on Politics and Aesthetics. London and New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2010. Chapter 10: ‘The Paradoxes of Political Art’, 134-151.

Wallace, And I and Silence

Week 3 - Theories of Democracy: Consensus & Dissensus II - Susan Haedicke

The class will investigate some strategies of applying theories of democracy to performance.

Susan Haedicke, Contemporary Street Arts: Aesthetics and Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Chapter 3, ‘Performing Democracy on a Grand Scale’, 71-90.

John McGrath, ‘Theatre and Democracy’. New Theatre Quarterly 18 (2002): 133-9.

Janelle Reinelt, ‘Notes for a Radical Democratic Theatre: Productive Crises and the Challenge of Indeterminacy’. Staging Resistance: Essays on Political Theatre. Eds. Jeanne Colleran and Jenny S. Spencer. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998. 283-300.

Royal de Luxe, The Sultan’s Elephant, or

Week 4 - Trauma & Psychoanalysis I - Anna Harpin


Sigmund Freud, Beyond the Pleasure the Principle and Other Writings, trans. by trans. by John Reddick (London: Penguin, 2003)

Roger Luckhurst, ‘The genealogy of a concept’ in The Trauma Question (London: Routledge, 2008)

Week 5 - Trauma & Psychoanalysis II - Anna Harpin


Cathy Caruth, ‘Literature and the Enactment of Memory’ in Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative, History (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996)

Dori Laub, ‘An Event Without Witness: Truth, Testimony, and Survival’ in Dori Laub and Shoshana Felman, Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis and History (London: Routledge, 1992)

Alain Resnais, Hiroshima Mon Amour (available via BOB on the library catalogue)

Week 6 - Theories of Gender (Construction) I - Milija Gluhovic

After reviewing briefly Judith Butler’s seminal essay “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution” (1988), we shall look at some most recent articulations of gender construction and identity that use “citizenship” as the organizing concept as well as examine the current state of play within queer theory and politics.

Butler, Judith. “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory,” Theatre Journal 40.4 (Dec. 1988): 519-531.

Dutt, Bishnupriya, and Janelle Reinelt. “Introduction,” in Gendered Citizenship: Manifestations and Performance. Eds. Bishnupriya Dutt, Maria Estrada-Fuentes, Janelle Reinelt, and Shrinkhla Sahai. Routledge, 2017.

Yekani, Elahe Haschemi, Eveline Kilian, and Beatrice Michaelis, “Introducing Queer Futures,” in Queer Futures: Reconsidering Ethics, Activism, and the Political. Eds. Elahe Haschemi Yekani, Eveline Kilian, and Beatrice Michaelis. Farnham, Surrey, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2013. 1-16.

Athanasiou, Athena. “Precarious Intensities: Gendered Bodies in the Streets and Squares of Greece,” Signs 40.1 (Autumn 2014): 1-9.

“Forum: Contemporary Queer Theatre and Performance Research,” in Theatre Research International 40.1 (March 2015): 67-107.


Week 7 - Gender - African Feminism - Yvette Hutchison

In this session, we will consider some of the issues affecting how African feminisms are being negotiated both as discourses and in/through theatrical practices.

‘Theorizing African feminism(s) – the Colonial Question’. Texts, Tasks, and Theories: Versions and Subversions in African Literatures, Vol 3. ed. by Tobias Robert Klein, Ulrike Auga and Viola Prüschenk (Matatu 35, Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 2007), 165-214.

Gwendolyn Mikell, Introduction to African Feminism, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997, 1-50.

Ama Ata Aidoo, Dilemma of a Ghost, in Jeyifo, 242-275.

Mamela Nyamza in Hatched,, 2.38 mins.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, TEDx talk – We should all be feminists,, (30 mins)

Ama Ata Aidoo on feminism in Africa - BBC HARDtalk,, (3:07)

Week 8 - Theories of Gender (Construction) II - Wallace McDowell

The class will discuss how performances of masculinities are produced and represented with a particular focus on the ‘warrior male’.

Playtext: Gregory Burke, Black Watch, London: Faber and Faber, 2007

David H. J. Morgan, ‘Theatre of War’. Theorizing Masculinities. Eds. Harry Brod and Michael Kaufman. London: Sage, 1994, pp. 165-182.

Todd. W. Reeser, ‘Theorising Masculinity’. Masculinities in Theory, Todd. W. Reeser. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010, pp. 17-54.

Week 9 - Spatial Concepts: Writing the Performing City - Nicolas Whybrow

Drawing on theories of ‘porosity’, ‘rhythm-analysis’ and ‘montage’, this session will examine ways of writing (about) urban space from the perspective of performance (studies).

Benjamin, Walter and Asja Lacis (2010) ‘Naples’, in Performance and the Contemporary City: an Interdisciplinary Reader, ed. N. Whybrow, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.28-34.

Lefebvre, Henri and Catherine Régulier (2010) ‘Attempt at the Rhythm-analysis of Mediterranean Cities’, in Performance and the Contemporary City: an Interdisciplinary Reader, ed. N. Whybrow, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.179-190.

Whybrow, Nicolas (2014) ‘”City”’, in Performance Studies: Key Words, Concepts and Theories, ed. Bryan Reynolds, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.304-313.

Whybrow, Nicolas (ed) (2014) Performing Cities, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Week 10 - Spatial Concepts: Exile and the City - Nicolas Whybrow

This session will build further on the spatial concepts using theoretical frameworks including heterotopia (Foucault), Third Space (Lefebvre, Soja), and geopathology (Chaudhuri) to explore the role of the Other in performing the city. We will look at artists such as K. Wodiczko, D. Kostova, and C. Schlingensief whose works variously utilize the city as a space for exploring questions of exile and belonging.

Foucault, Michel. ‘Of Other Spaces’, Diacritics 16 (1986) 22

Jestrovic, S. ‘Spatial Concepts,’ Performance Studies: Key Words, Concept, Theories, (ed). Bryan Reynolds, Palgrave, 2014. 156-64

Soja, Edward. ‘Thirdspace: Expending the Scope of the Geographical Imagination,’ Architecturally Speaking: Practices of Art, Architecture and the Everyday. Ed. A. Read London: Routledge (2000) 13-31


Susan Haedicke
s dot haedicke at warwick dot ac dot uk

Anna Harpin
a dot r dot harpin at warwick dot ac dot uk

Milija Gluhovic
m dot gluhovic at warwick dot ac dot uk

Yvette Hutchison
y dot a dot hutchison at warwick dot ac dot uk

Wallace McDowell
wallace dot b dot mcdowell at warwick dot ac dot uk

Nicolas Whybrow
n dot whybrow at warwick dot ac dot uk