Department of Drama UG Module Directory (2022)


Feeling It: Emotion and Sensation in the Theatre

Level 6 (15 credits)

Who feels what in which theatre? From theories of catharsis in tragic theatre to the predicament of the spectator in postmodern performance, this module takes a critical, historical and theoretical look at how emotion and sensation have been experienced in the theatre and relate practices, which could include live art, video and film. We will work with records, documents and memories of performance, to consider what it might mean to feel real feelings and sense real sensations in relation to events and experiences that we may not think of as being real. Theoretical texts about performance and emotion will be examined in relation to historical accounts and contemporary experiences of performances. We will investigate what different cultures and traditions understand by emotion, and what different kinds of theatre and performance imagine they are doing with people's feelings.

Preparing for this Module and Approximate Costs

There is no advance preparation for this module, but you will greatly help our discussions by making sure that you attend performances, installations and other events. Some food for thought in the coming months might include:

Weird Sensation Feels Good: The World of ASMR - Design Museum

River Stages - National Theatre

Requardt & Rosenberg Future Cargo - Coal Drops Yard

Future Shock - 180 Studios

Subject to autumn season programming, we will attend two performances, totalling approximately £30. You will need return travel in Zones 1 &2.

Why take Feeling It: Emotion and Sensation in the Theatre?
  1. Think about theatre as a place of feeling, sensation and atmosphere
  2. Consider what might be at stake in describing performance as 'touching', 'moving' or 'emotional'
  3. Examine the theory, politics and philosophy of theatrical feelings on stages, in auditoria, and in wider society

Learning Context Seminar-based
Semester 1

  1. Participation, 10%
  2. Presentation (5-7 minutes), 20%
  3. Essay (3000 words), 70%
Mode of reassessment Standard
Contact Martin Welton