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2017-18 Courses

All incoming students and returning students who are still doing coursework are encouraged to set up a meeting with our Associate Director (Graduate), to consult on program requirements and course options. If you would like to set up a time, please email Prof. Antje Budde.

2017-18 Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies Course Timetable
2017-18 Cross Listed Courses

Course List

Required Courses

DRA1011F Traditions of Performance Theory  (required for PhD Year 1)
Prof. Stephen Johnson
Fall, Thursday, 2-5

A survey of theories of drama, theatre, and performance in the European tradition from the Greeks (Aristotle and Plato) to the 19th Century. This course is restricted to incoming PhD candidates.

DRA1012HS 20th Century Theatre and Performance Theory  (required for PhD Year 1)
Prof. Tamara Trojanowska
Spring, Friday, 10-1

This course familiarizes students with major theoretical and practical developments in Western theatre in the twentieth and twenty first centuries, as well as with the selected philosophical approaches to the relationality of human beings and the world developed in the last hundred years (e.g. materialism, Marxism, feminism, phenomenology, philosophy of dialogue, poststructuralism, posthumanism, postsecularism, and ecologism from mimesis, ritual, and the avant-garde to political radicalism and re-enchantment.

DRA5000Y MA Projects
(required for MA)
Prof. VK Preston (Fall) and Stephen Johnson (Spring)
Fall & Spring, Monday, 11-1 (this 1.0 FCE course runs from September to April)

This course offers an introduction for incoming MA students to key concepts in performance, dance, and theatre studies with considerations in practice and dramaturgy. Together, we will also learn about community and university resources, publications, and ethics procedures while introducing core texts and concepts that unfold historical, theoretical, methodological, political, and practical aspects of performance scholarship and labor. Course materials include readings, lecture/discussions, guest presentations, and practical assignments. The course is designed to foster and facilitate student collaboration and engagement with a broad range of performance generation within and beyond the university. You will be asked to investigate methods and composition outside the classroom and to create short works and presentations.

DRA5001HF Research Methods  (required for PhD Year 1)
Prof. Xing Fan
Fall, Thursday, 10-1

This course offers theoretical and practical training in a range of research methods in the disciplines of drama, theatre, and performance studies. Students will learn about a variety of methodological approaches, their critical discourse histories and how such knowledge is informative in early research project development. This course will also help students to identify research questions, ground them in relevant theories, and apply such professional academic knowledge to individual project planning.

DRA5002HS Dissertation Proposal (required for PhD Year 2)
Prof. Antje Budde
Spring, Monday, 2-4 

This course is designed to help students to prepare for their field exam/ prospectus defense, understand research planning, graduate funding, supervision guidelines and responsibilities and, most importantly, to write their first major draft of the prospectus essay and related annotated bibliography. This is a weekly seminar course, which will also offer tutorials addressing individual research questions and strategies.


DRA1105HF Performing History
Prof. Nancy Copeland
Fall, Tuesday, 2-4

This course will survey the recent  theory and practice of performing history. Theorists will include, among others:  Rebecca Schneider (Performing Remains); Carol Martin (Theatre of the Real); Scott Magellson (Living History Museums; Simming); Diana Taylor  (The Archive and the Repertoire); Joseph Roach (Cities of the Dead); and Freddie Rokem, (Performing History). Examples of practice will be chosen to illustrate theoretical concepts

DRA2011HF Theatrical Performance and Reception
Prof. Jacob Gallagher-Ross
Fall, Tuesday, 4-6

This seminar is at once an immersive survey of the current landscape of Toronto performance and an intensive workshop in critical writing and editing. Our lens will be expansive: we’ll endeavour to parse the broad spectrum of live art in Toronto from Mirvish mega-musicals to experimental theatre, and contemporary dance to museum installations. (Please bring your suggestions! We’ll tailor the schedule to students’ research interests.) We’ll sample the international offerings at the World Stage festival, and delve deeply into the local scene. The goal of the course will be to sharpen students’ ability to analyze performance events: to situate careful, close readings in illuminating theoretical, aesthetic, and historical contexts, and to do so in lively (and publishable) prose.
Students will refine their writing practice by working in a variety of scholarly and popular genres reflecting today’s variegated critical landscape. Readings in theory and criticism will frame performances and provide models for written work. Throughout, we’ll emphasize writing and critical inquiry as modes of engagement with a performance scene and an artistic moment—dramas of ideas performed in public.

DRA3901HS Indigenous Research Methods and Transcultural Relationships: Research as Treaty
Prof. Jill Carter
Spring, Monday, 6-9

This course performs an intervention on the critical intervention, offering theatre scholars the opportunity to undertake a rigorous examination of Indigenous and Resurgent research methods.
Transgressing rigid notions of scholarship with the hope of establishing prudent transcultural frameworks, students will explore and foster trans-methodological approaches to Indigenous performance research and consider frameworks across cultural and regional lines.
What do transcultural relationships look like? Who is initiating the crossing? When working with sacred knowledge systems, how does one go about establishing frameworks that are transparent, healthy, productive, and easily understood?

DRA3902HS Performance History and Popular Culture in a Canadian Context *Cancelled for 2017-18

This course focuses on the dissemination of performance in the 19th and early 20th centuries in urban and rural Ontario, and in particular the research methods used in accumulating and interpreting historical documents created by a nearly-invisible figures—the touring professional and the local amateur in a pioneer and colonial culture. More traditional forms of theatre were a part of this culture, but even more common were performances of variety, circus, blackface minstrelsy, and more. The performance of race in Ontario will be one, but not the only, topic of discussion. The course is a practicum, using the instructor’s research projects as case studies and assignments. Contact the instructor, Stephen Johnson, for further information.

DRA3903HS Modern Drama’s Environments
Prof.  Alan Ackerman
Spring, Wednesday, 10-1

This seminar takes an eco-critical approach to late nineteenth and early twentieth-century drama.  In this period of rapid technological and cultural change, one dramatist after another advocated the renewal of theatrical environments.  In conception and performance all plays implicitly depend on physical space and the biology of actors.  But in their insistence on remaking the stage, modern dramatists attend in new ways to a material world, “nature,” artifice, and the living earth.  Studying diverse plays by Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov and others, we ask: What is important about local details of modern drama, and how do plays relate to the concrete domains in which they are performed?

DRA3904HS Documenting Performance
Prof. Francesco Gagliardi
Spring, Tuesday, 2-5

This seminar will explore different ways of documenting, disseminating, and preserving performance. By examining a variety of documentary media (writing, photography, film and video), styles, and strategies, the seminar will encourage a reflection on the notion of “documentary” in relation to live performance: How, and to what extent, do documentary artifacts provide reliable access to performance? What specific ways of re-presenting, translating, and distorting performance do different media offer? Can documentary artifacts become artworks in their own right? What strategies can artists adopt to retain some measure of control over the way their work is circulated and preserved? What can be learned about the nature and value of the “live” by looking at it through other media? The seminar is intended for theatre artists, dancers, performance and visual artists, and for anyone interested in live performance from a historical or critical perspective.

DRA3905HS Playwriting
Djanet Sears
Spring, Tuesday, 6-9

Concentrating upon the in-depth knowledge and practice of playwriting with an emphasis on advanced style and technique of writing for the stage. Students develop their own longer work through in-class exercises, one major written assignment, and the final public presentation. Interested students are required to submit a portfolio.

DRA3906HF Theatre and Global Ethics  
Prof. Barry Freeman
Fall, Friday, 10-12

In this course, we will investigate the ethics of encounter in theatre and performance in the context of globalization. Through case studies of local and global sites, we will focus particularly on the contradictions of contemporary performance practices that both participate in global flows and resist them through alternative logics of time, space, affect, ethics and embodiment. We will pay special attention to the research methodologies used to investigate how theatre stages seeing, knowing and caring for others. After a series of guided discussions, students will have the opportunity to develop a case-study exploring a particular site of interest in relation to the course themes and readings.

DRA3907HF Post dramatic. Digital. Globalized. – Gao Xingjian’s Theatre Experiments Between Life and Death, Science and Fiction
Prof. Antje Budde
Fall, Monday, 2-5

Gao, Xingjian, a bi-lingual French-Chinese writer, painter and theatre philosopher, has been a driving force of experimental theatre in the 1980s in PR China inspired both by Chinese modern and traditional theatre and folk traditions as well as absurdist playwrights like Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco. He was forcefully exiled after the 1989 Tiananmen student protests in part because of his play “Escape” (1990) which takes a highly individual and critical look at the precarious situation of people who get caught amidst student protests and state violence. As a result he immigrated to France and turned into an exile artist and globalized creative subject. Gao operates at the interdisciplinary intersections of visual art, performance, critical theory, literature, spiritual discovery and as a voice of cold observation, resistant to the political/ideological corruptions of mind, soul, and creative making by powers of domination. In 2000 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature for his novel “Soul Mountain”.
In this course we will trace the creative and political process of his work in the context of the Digital Dramaturgy Lab’s (DDL) current practice-as-research creative project “Between Life and Death (生死界) – Explorations of Zen and Quantum Physics in/with/through Gao, Xingjian’s (高行健) play. Experimental cross-cultural, multi-lingual, mixed-media Zen theatre”
The course incorporates hands-on experimental explorations of camera acting (including selfie culture), digital performance software and performance installations which will inform the DDL creative project above. Important concepts to be discussed include Gao’s theoretical writings on experimental theatre, the concept of xieyi, theatricism, hypotheticality, cold literature, triplication of the actor and third person dramaturgies.

DRA3908HS The Archival
Prof. VK Preston
Spring, Wednesday, 1:30-4:30

This course brings together visiting the wealth of collections on campus, and in the city of Toronto, with readings in archive and book studies, critical theory, performance, and ephemera (Arondekar, Benjamin, Cvetkovich, Derrida, Foucault, Jackson, Hartman, Lepecki, Muñoz, Phelan, Said, Schneider, Taylor, and Voss). At the core of the course is visiting collections, engaging in the work of artists, communities, and activists as well as scholars and historians. Together we will address silences, new materialisms, and the charged task of working with objects. Projects for this course may address research at archives including the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, the Sexual Representation Collection, Dance Collection Danse, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, the United Church Archives of Canada’s records of Residential Schools, or the Psychiatric Survivor Archives of Toronto. We will meet with artists, curators, scholars, and storytellers to address scholarship, performance creation, ethics, and the data of the senses.

DRA4031HS Studies in Canadian Drama and Theatre
Prof. Nancy Copeland
Spring, Thursday, 10-12

This year, this course will study changing approaches to Canadian theatre history. Through the study of key examples, we will examine the historiography of Canadian theatre history from around the mid-1980s to the present. As we follow changing approaches to the field, we will also explore changing concepts of what it means to be “Canadian.”

Reading and Research Courses

Our departmental policy regarding reading or research courses is the following:
1. Students can take up to one Y or two H reading/research courses during their studies in our program, including previous MA reading/ research courses.
2. Generally, students who take two H reading/research courses should choose different topics for those and change instructors with a new H course. Exceptions can be made on a case to case basis pending approval of the department’s director or associate director. However, this will not happen on a regular basis.

In order to request a reading/research course you need to do the following:
1. Write a proposal for such a course
2. Find an instructor who is willing to take you on as a student for such a course on the basis of your proposal
3. Submit your proposal (after revisions by your instructor) along with the filled out form Request for Reading and/or Research Course and a tentative reading list. Make sure, that you and the instructor agree on the number, deadlines and grade value of the course assignments. Make sure that you provide information about the frequency of meetings with your instructor (i.e. bi-weekly 2 hrs, weekly 1 hour, monthly four hrs)
4. Sign the form, get the signatures of your instructor and finally the signature of the associate director (after approval you can be enrolled by our graduate administrator). Always check the SGS deadlines for course enrolment.

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