ATS2912 - Performance studies 1 - Concepts - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Centre for Theatre and Performance


Professor Stacy Holman Jones

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This unit introduces the key thinkers and concepts in the discipline of Performance Studies from its origin in the anthropology of theatre and performance to the emergence of the main threads, debates and schools of thought which characterize the field today. The ideas of theorists such as Schechner, Turner, Conquergood, Austin, Butler and others will be covered, detailing concepts of ritual, everyday social performance and performativity. Examples from political performance, protest, institutional and environmental performance will be analysed.


Upon completion of this course students will:

  1. understand the meanings and applications of the concept of performativity and be able to make considered arguments concerning its worth and scope;
  2. be able to analyse everyday activities and broader social events in their performative dimensions;
  3. apply and argue the key concepts and debates in contemporary performance studies;
  4. be able to employ a variety of theoretical approaches to the analysis of everyday and ritual social and cultural performances;
  5. apply concepts of the self, gender, subjectivity and identity viewed as performances;
  6. develop a sense of the cultural relativity of their own and others' everyday practices, becoming more open-minded and understanding of the diversity of cultural practice;
  7. be able to demonstrate an understanding and employ techniques of ethnographic writing.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Two gateway units in Theatre