DRAM30200 Queer Theatre & Performance

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module will introduce students to a wide range of queer theatre and performance. Students will engage with critical theory, play texts, various genres of performance, and some film and video to interrogate what queer theatre and performance are and how they have developed in the English-speaking world. Looking at texts from the 1960s to the present, the changing status of queer identities and queer performance practices will be examined in relation to the local context of their production and in relation to the international character of queer discourses. Special attention will be paid to the intersections of sexual identity and race, class, gender and nation.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

- Students will be conversant in queer theories and queer methods of critique, as well as other forms of critical theory, such as feminism, critical race, and transgender theory
- Students will be conversant with a wide variety of queer performance practices
- Students will have developed a vocabulary to discuss various forms of identity, and their intersectionality
- Students will have developed their academic writing skills

Indicative Module Content:

Class Schedule:
(Subject to change)
Class 1: Introduction To Module: What is Queer Theatre and Performance?

Class 2: Queer Theories, Politics, and Performances
Required Reading:
Muñoz, José Esteban. "Introduction: Performing Disidentifications." Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999, pp. 1-34.
Annamarie Jagose, “Queer.” Queer Theory: An Introduction. New York: New York University Press, 1996, pp. 72-100.
Recommended: E. Patrick Johnson, “Queer Theory.” The Cambridge Companion to Performance Studies, edited by Tracy C. Davis. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2008, pp. 166-81.

Class 3: Gender’s a Drag
Required Reading:
Gilbert, Sky. “Drag Queens on Trial: A Courtroom Melodrama,” Painted, Tainted, Sainted: Four Plays. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 1996.
Butler, Judith. "Gender Imitation and Insubordination." The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader Edited by Henry Abelove, et. al. Routledge, New York, 1993, pp. 307-20.

Recommended: Butler, Judith. “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory.” Theatre Journal. Vol. 40, No. 4 (Dec., 1988), pp. 519-531.
Dolan, Jill. "Practicing Cultural Disruptions: Gay and Lesbian Representation and Sexuality." Critical Theory and Performance. Edited by Janelle G. Reinelt and Joseph R. Roach. Ann Arbor: The U. of Michigan Press, 1992, pp. 263-75.

Class 4: Reclaiming Lost Herstories
Required Reading:
Emma Donoghue, I Know My Own Heart
Maria Kurdi, “Lesbian Versions of the Female Biography Play: Emma Donoghue’s I Know My Own Heart and Ladies and Gentlemen.” Deviant Acts: Essays on Queer Performance, edited by David Cregan. Dublin: Carysfort Press, 2009, pp. 37-54.
Recommended: Emma Donoghue, “A Tale of Two Annies.” Butch/Femme: Inside Lesbian Gender. Edited by Sally Munt, London: Cassell, 1998.

Week 5: Performing Community: Race, Class, and Gender
Required: Livingston, Jenny. Paris is Burning 78 Mins. (Available on Netflix and
hooks, bell. "Is Paris Burning?" Black Looks: Race and Representation, South End Press, 1992, pp. 145-156.
Butler, Judith. "Gender Is Burning: Questions of Appropriation and Subversion." Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex", Routledge, 1993, pp. 121-140.

Class 6: Performing “Butch” and “Femme”
Required: Bourne, Bette, et al. "Belle Reprieve." Gay and Lesbian Plays Today. Ed. Terry Helbing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1993. 2-38.
Jill Dolan, “‘Lesbian’ Subjectivity in Realism: Dragging at the Margins of Structure and Ideology” Performing Feminisms: Feminist Critical Theory and Theatre. Ed. Sue-Ellen Case. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990.
Recommended: Halberstam, Judith. "An Introduction to Female Masculinity." Female Masculinity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998. 1-43. Excerpts

Week 7: Sickness and Healing
Required: Watkins, Neil. The Year of Magical Wanking
Cormac O'Brien (2013) 'Performing POZ: Irish Theatre, HIV Stigma, and 'Post-AIDS' Identities'. Irish University Review, 43 (1):74-85

Class 8: Marriage, Coupling and Politics
Required: READ/LISTEN: Amy Conroy I Heart Alice Heart I (Sound recording link posted to Blackboard)
Conroy, Amy. I Heart Alice Heart I. In This is just this. It isn't real. It's money: The Oberon Anthology of Contemporary Irish Plays, edited by Thomas Conway. London: Oberon Books, 2012. 185-219.
Anne Mullhall, Republic of Love (Available online at https://bullybloggers.wordpress.com/)

Class 9: Transgenders
Required: McKevitt, Una. “The Big Deal.” In This is just this. It isn't real. It's money: The Oberon anthology of contemporary Irish Plays, edited by Thomas Conway. London: Oberon Books, 2012. pp. 221-249.
Namaste, Viviane. Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgendered People (University of Chicago Press, 2000).
Recommended: Stone, Sandy. “The Empire Strikes Back: A Postranssexual Manifesto.” The Transgender Studies Reader, eds. Susan Stryker, et.al. Routledge, London, 2006.

Class 10: Transgenders
Required: Drake, Sunny. “No Strings (Attached).” Q2Q: Queer Canadian Performance Texts. Edited by Peter Dickinson, et. al. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2018.
Cromwell, Jason. “Queering the Binaries: Transsituated Identities, Bodies, and Sexualities.” The Transgender Studies Reader, eds. Susan Stryker, et.al. Routledge, London, 2006, pp. 509-20.
Recommended: Green, Jamison. “Look! No, Don’t!: The Visibility Dilema for Transexual Men.” The Transgender Studies Reader, eds. Susan Stryker, et.al. Routledge, London, 2006, pp. 499-508.

Class 11: Indigenous Epistemologies
Required: Fobister, Waawaate. “Agokwe.” In Two-spirit Acts: Queer Indigenous Performances. Ed. Jean O’Hara. Toronto: Playwright Canada Press, 2013.
Carter, Jill. "Negotiating Tensions Betwixt Presence and Absence Amidst a Big Sadness: Cultural Reclamation, Reinvention, and Costume Design." Canadian Theatre Review, vol. 152, no. 1, 2012, pp. 5-12.
Recommended: Fobister, Waawaate. "Theatre that is Not just DEH-BIN-NOCK." Canadian Theatre Review, vol. 150, no. 1, 2012, pp. 94-96.
Class 12: TBA

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Students will engage in peer and group work, short lectures, critical writing, and student presentations. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Queer Theatre & Performance (DRAM30190)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Students will submit reading points on weekly readings. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Group Project: Students will complete a summary and presentation of an academic article OR present a concept for staging the performance of a play. Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: Final research essay 2500-3000 words. End of trimester MCQ n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will receive written and verbal feedback on assessments.