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Handbooks Courses Units

DTH4004 - Rethinking theatre history

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Maryrose Casey


Clayton Second semester 2008 (Day)


This unit will explore the processes of rethinking theatre history in a number of ways: the challenges to received critical thinking and methodology, and to canonical assumptions; the implications for theatre history of parallel texts reflecting 'translations' into new media; the responses of analytical and critical approaches in Drama and Theatre Studies to the influence of thinking in other disciplines; the reframing of canonical texts in the light of contemporary theoretical and cultural perspectives, and its implications for historicised interpretation.

It will examine a range of plays in relation to traditional scholarly interpretations and to specific recent re-readings.


Students completing 'Rethinking Theatre History' should have acquired:

  1. A working awareness of contemporary theoretical perspectives.

  1. The capacity to apply specific theoretical approaches to a diverse range of theatrical texts.

  1. An ongoing sensitivity, openness and scepticism to shifts in the climate of disciplinary debate.

  1. A developed sense of the continuing volatility and contingency of intellectual debate in the field.

  1. A sophisticated understanding of the issues underlying those debates at a level appropriate to graduate study.

  1. Enhanced confidence in articulating informed arguments and interpretations, in both oral and written form.


An exegetical essay (3000 words): 30%
An oral class presentation (equivalent 2000 words): 20%
A long essay (4000 words): 50%

Contact hours

2 hours per week



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