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2018-19 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.

2018-19 Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies Course Timetable

Required Courses

DRA1011F Traditions of Performance Theory (required for PhD1)
Prof. Nancy Copeland
Fall, Tuesday, 1-4

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 PhD1)
Prof. Tamara Trojanowska
Spring, Monday, 1-4

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.

MA Projects (required for MA)
Prof. VK Preston (Fall) and Prof. Nikki Cesare Schotzko (Spring)
Fall & Spring, Tuesday, 10-1 (this 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 PhD1)
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 PhD2)
Prof. Stephen Johnson
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.


DRA3901HF Theatre and Global Ethics *cancelled for 2018-19*

DRA3902HS Tears and Laughter: Asian Performance, Theories and Practices
Prof. Xing Fan
Spring, Monday, 10-12

What does “Asian performance” embrace, on page and on stage?  How do practitioners in Asian cultures define and accomplish aesthetic pursuits?  When do “traditions” begin and end in their cultures? And, how do Asian classical performances relate to contemporary experiments in a global age?  In Asia, theatre, dance, and music are real-life events through which participants celebrate the happiness, joy, coincidence, misunderstanding, crisis, and/or pain, in both the secular and the sacred worlds.  Asian performance contributes to breathtaking and colorful practices, and unique and inspiring aesthetics. This course invites students to explore foundational theories in Asian performance, to integrate hands-on experience in their aesthetic analysis, and to conduct further research based their own academic interest.

DRA3903HS Improvisation: Theory and Practice
Prof.  Domenico Pietropaolo
Spring, Tuesday, 2-4

A rigorous analysis of verbal and gestural improvisation as a form of impromptu performance in the Commedia dell’Arte and related European traditions, from the Renaissance to Dario Fo. The following topics will be examined in detail: the semiotics of improvised performance texts, the biomechanics of improvisation in pantomime, spoken drama and grotesque dance, the structure and function of virtuosic routines, the dramaturgy of improvisation, the aesthetics of buffoonery and the ideology of humour. We will examine representative works from the Commedia dell’Arte repertoire (Scala, Goldoni and Gozzi in particular) as well as selections from contemporary manuals on performance techniques (Perrucci, Gherardi, Lang, Weaver and Fo, among others).

DRA3904HS Performing Auto/biography
Prof. Nancy Copeland
Spring, Thursday, 10-12

This course will explore the theory and practice of auto/biographical performance. The term auto/biography recognizes that autobiography and biography are often intertwined. Readings will include auto/biographical theory and examples of auto/biographical performance from Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. Topics will include the subjects of auto/biography and forms and dramaturgies of auto/biographical performance. There will be an option of drafting an auto/biographical performance in place of a final essay.

DRA3905HS Embodiments: Critical Dance Studies and Performance Theory
Prof. VK Preston
Spring, Thursday, 1-4

This course brings critical dance studies and performance theory into conversation, examining theories of capital, the senses, and political resistance through art and social movements. The core aim of the course is to explore arguments regarding the circulation and expressivity of bodies in movement. We’ll investigate key texts on transmission and of gesture through Thomas DeFrantz’s theory-ography, André Lepecki’s ‘choreopolice and choreopolitics,’ and Elizabeth Maddock Dillon’s ‘performative commons,’ movement and social practices, as well as media. The course emphasizes diverse, social dimensions of choreography and kinesthetic experience traversing queer, critical race, dis/ability, and feminist studies. Coursework includes attending performances and exploring movement-based practice tasks’ imbrication in art and life, theory and practice.

DRA3907HY Collisions and Common Ground: art – technology – performance
Prof. Pia Kleber and David Rokeby
Fall & Spring, Wednesday, 6-9 (this 0.5 FCE course runs from September to April)

This interdisciplinary graduate course explores the collision between the arts and technologies with all of its creative potential, unintentional collateral damage, compelling attraction, and complex social implications. It brings together scholars, artists, and students from Drama/Theatre, Visual Studies, Comparative Literature Music, Engineering, and Computer Science who are already excited by and engaged in this intersection. For students coming from an arts background the course offers direct experience of emerging technologies and chance to explore their applications to their research. For students with a technology background, the course provides the opportunity to integrate their research into an art-based, publicly presented project. The course exposes all of the students to rigorous interdisciplinary practices and their conceptual, practical and theoretical challenges through group discussions, concept generation, practical experimentation and research, and engagement with visiting artists. The course will culminate in a collaborative performance project.

SLA1304HF Transgressions: Drama, Theatre, Performance
Prof. Tamara Trojanowska
Fall, Monday, 1-3

What has happened to the relationship between performance and religion? Has the Enlightenment project successfully secularized Western civilization and our thinking about a human subject in light of its most important horizon – the finitude of existence? Or can we still decipher religious thinking in the works of theatre artists whose practice, like that of the leading Western philosophers, such as Walter Benjamin, Emmanuel Lévinas, and Jacque Derrida, still bear traces of theological underpinnings when dealing with this finitude? These questions, among others, lead our investigation into transgressive cryptotheologies at the crossroads of performance, philosophy and religion in the Western theatre of the 20th and 21st centuries.

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:
. 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 School of Graduate Studies deadlines for course enrolment.

DRA4090Y – September to April
DRA4091H – September to December
DRA4092H – January to April
DRA4093H – May to August

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