Performance Studies Degree Requirements


Degree Requirements

Graduate Group in Performance Studies Degree Requirements

The PhD in Performance Studies is a four to five year program. In the first two years of study, students develop an understanding of performance by drawing from a range of regular course offerings in the field to identify, explore, and define a field or fields of research. Students are required to complete four core courses out of nine. Each individual program is then built from seminar and/or practice as research courses, as well as independent or group studies.

Core Courses

PFS200: Methods, Materials and Performance Research

(4) Seminar–3 hours; term paper. Essential research tools in theatre and related fields; bibliographies, primary sources; methods of evaluating and presenting evidence; delineating research areas in the field; current debates; researching, shaping and presenting oral and written paper.

PFS265a: Modes of Production: Comparative Medias course.

Prof Lynette Hunter.

Introduces students to the literature of performance production in a variety of media: theatre, dance, film, video, computer-based, looking at cultural, aesthetic, rhetorical and political theory. May be repeated.

PFS265an:crosslisted CST 295: Ghosts of the Machine,

Prof Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli.

PFS265b: Signification and the Body: Embodiments course.

Prof Maxine Craig.

Introduces students to analysis of the body in performance, drawing on theoretical models from several fields. Material will vary depending on instructor but examples might include bodymechancis, the body and social behaviour, body movement and theories of rhetoric, historical theories of body and soul. May be repeated.

PFS265bn: crosslisted course is ANT 210: Cyborg Writing

Prof Joe Dumit.

PFS265c: Performance and Society: Cultures/Ecologies 

Prof Larry Bogad.

Introduces students to the role of performance (broadly defined), in everyday life, sociopolitical negotiation, identity, social movements, the media, the environment, the state, transnational and glocal sites. Material will differ depending on instructor, but topics might include presidential elections, performative aspects of medicine and law, religious ritual, ecological activism, among others. May be repeated.

PFS265cn: crosslisted REL 230B : Comparative, interpretive study of the treatment of religion: language, rhetoric, and performance (postcolonial studies)

Prof Archana Venkatesen.

PFS265d: Theory of Performance Studies: Text/History

Prof Jon Rossini.

Performance Studies is a new discipline, growing out of several others including history and analysis of text within the fields of theatre and dance, anthropology and ethnology, linguistics, sociology, cultural and technological studies. There is a very substantial field of theory, history and criticism that has developed, which is integral to the understanding and development of performance research generally. Depending on the instructor the topics may vary, but could include history from Stanislavski to Grotowski, the impact of poststructural theory on performance, and/or ethical responsibility in performance. May be repeated.

PFS265dn: TBA

Students are required to complete a minimum of 60 units before taking the qualifying examination.

Language and Unit Requirements

No more than 12 units may be taken below the graduate level unless specifically approved by the PhD graduate program adviser. All students are required to have a good reading knowledge of a language other than English; ideally, this language should be one relevant to the field of dissertation research. This requirement should be passed by the end of the second year of study, and must be passed before the student will be approved to take qualifying examination. Students passing the language requirement with course work taken at another institution must demonstrate that this course work is sufficiently recent to demonstrate a useful working knowledge of the language for scholarly purposes.
Please see the Student Handbook for further details.


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