Current Graduate Courses

Course Timetable

View the 2018-2019 CDTPS graduate course timetable

Required Courses

Prof. Nancy Copeland

Fall, Tuesday, 1-4

A survey of theories of drama, theatre, and performance in the European tradition from the Greeks (Aristotle and Plato) to the 19th Century. This course is restricted to incoming PhD candidates.

Prof. Tamara Trojanowska

Spring, Monday, 1-4

This course familiarizes students with major theoretical and practical developments in Western theatre in the twentieth and twenty first centuries, as well as with the selected philosophical approaches to the relationality of human beings and the world developed in the last hundred years (e.g. materialism, Marxism, feminism, phenomenology, philosophy of dialogue, poststructuralism, posthumanism, postsecularism, and ecologism from mimesis, ritual, and the avant-garde to political radicalism and re-enchantment.

Prof. VK Preston (Fall) and Prof. Nikki Cesare Schotzko (Spring)

Fall & Spring, Tuesday, 10-1 (this course runs from September to April)

This course offers an introduction for incoming MA students to key concepts in performance, dance, and theatre studies with considerations in practice and dramaturgy. Together, we will also learn about community and university resources, publications, and ethics procedures while introducing core texts and concepts that unfold historical, theoretical, methodological, political, and practical aspects of performance scholarship and labor. Course materials include readings, lecture/discussions, guest presentations, and practical assignments. The course is designed to foster and facilitate student collaboration and engagement with a broad range of performance generation within and beyond the university. You will be asked to investigate methods and composition outside the classroom and to create short works and presentations.

Prof. Xing Fan

Fall, Thursday, 10-1

This course offers theoretical and practical training in a range of research methods in the disciplines of drama, theatre, and performance studies. Students will learn about a variety of methodological approaches, their critical discourse histories and how such knowledge is informative in early research project development. This course will also help students to identify research questions, ground them in relevant theories, and apply such professional academic knowledge to individual project planning.

Prof. Stephen Johnson

Spring, Monday, 2-4 

This course is designed to help students to prepare for their field exam/ prospectus defense, understand research planning, graduate funding, supervision guidelines and responsibilities and, most importantly, to write their first major draft of the prospectus essay and related annotated bibliography. This is a weekly seminar course, which will also offer tutorials addressing individual research questions and strategies.

MA Required Courses (effective September 2019)

As an introduction to graduate-level theatre and performance history and historiography, this course will teach students how to do theatre and performance history. It will combine consideration of selected topics and case studies with methodological awareness of the problems and questions that arise in the writing of such histories. The course will endeavor to present theatre and performance history as a subject that encompasses dramatic literature, material culture, embodiment, visual culture—and even how history can itself be understood as drama. Emphasis will be directed towards learning how to contextualize and situate sources within their historical and cultural frameworks.

This course provides an experiential learning opportunity to MA students by allowing them to pursue a practice-based project of their design under the supervision of a faculty member and with feedback from their cohort. Major components of the course are the discussion and application of various models of integrating critical analysis into practice, the introduction of different modes of research-based and critical creative practice, the development of students’ individual projects toward a workshop-oriented presentation, and the practice of peer critique.

This course provides introduction to the overlapping fields of drama, theatre and performance studies at the graduate level. Engaging the key texts in these fields, the course also addresses recent scholarship and artworks. It may include playtexts, performance texts, and theory, and develops and refines critical reading and analysis of this material. The course also models how scholars in the three fields use case studies to integrate analysis with theory. It builds a foundation for scholarly inquiry by incorporating local, national and international scholarship, and examines interrelationships of scholarly and artistic works.

This course provides a capstone experience to MA students by allowing them to pursue a major research project of their design under the supervision of a faculty member. It has two options: a written scholarly thesis of approximately 40-50 pages or a hybrid artistic and scholarly project comprising a practical component and a substantial, 20-page long critical essay explicating the project’s conceptualization and execution. This work is evaluated by the course instructor and two other readers assigned from within the faculty of the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. The course develops students’ conceptual understanding and methodological competence.

PhD Required Courses (effective September 2019)

Sources and Concepts of Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies I is the first of a two-part cycle of foundational PhD-level semester courses in international histories of intellectual and creative ideas that inform drama, theatre, and performance studies. The courses invite students to examine the most significant dramatic and theatrical developments—in both theories and practices—across cultures. They focus on the historically, methodologically and theoretically informed analyses of dramatic texts, theatre productions, and performances with reference to their formal and stylistic choices, performative significance, cultural systems and conventions, and historical contexts. The courses provide ways of integrating culture-specific theory/criticism/ideas into a comprehensive understanding of world drama, theatre, and performance. This cycle may not use a fixed structure. According to the course instructor’s pedagogical approach and academic expertise, the courses may be organized along chronology, around themes, with a focus on geography, or with a combination of the previous perspectives.

Sources and Concepts of Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies II is the second of a two-part cycle of foundational PhD-level semester courses in international histories of intellectual and creative ideas that inform drama, theatre, and performance studies. The courses invite students to examine the most significant dramatic and theatrical developments—in both theories and practices—across cultures. They focus on the historically, methodologically and theoretically informed analyses of dramatic texts, theatre productions, and performances with reference to their formal and stylistic choices, performative significance, cultural systems and conventions, and historical contexts. The courses provide ways of integrating culture-specific theory/criticism/ideas into a comprehensive understanding of world drama, theatre, and performance. This cycle may not use a fixed structure. According to the course instructor’s pedagogical approach and academic expertise, the courses may be organized along chronology, around themes, with a focus on geography, or with a combination of the previous perspectives.

Modelling New Scholarship is a PhD-only seminar focusing on the practice of professional scholarship in drama, theatre, and performance studies. In the course, students cultivate the research, writing, and presentation skills necessary for success in graduate school and the professional sphere. It serves as an introduction to some of the most current scholarship in the field, and develops the tools—analysis, historiography, theory—required both to engage with and to produce original work. Students will examine how scholars translate their research into original contributions to the field: from dissertation chapters, to conference presentations, to journal articles, and monographs. Students will also gain an overview of the profession, including relevant organizations, conferences, and journals, and learn how to gear their writing toward a particular audience. The seminar also considers the ways in which scholarship in drama, theatre, and performance studies both intersects with, and distinguishes itself from, other disciplines, including cultural studies, history, ethnography, and literary studies. The course may include a public humanities and/or community-based component.

This course is designed to acquaint students with contemporary approaches and issues in teaching and learning as they pertain to the interdisciplinary field of drama, theatre and performance studies. Emphasis will be on the theory and practice of knowledge construction and transmission. By the end of the course, students will have developed a stronger understanding of the history of pedagogy in the field, considered important theoretical paradigms in relation to their practical applications, been introduced to Indigenous and non-Western perspectives on teaching and learning, developed and experimented with specific teaching techniques appropriate to their individual professional goals, and positioned their own values and practice in relation to a community of learning, producing a statement of teaching philosophy.

This course has three components: (1) students prepare for and compose their dissertation proposal; (2) methodological training through which students further develop their research skills pertaining to their specific dissertation projects; and (3) logistical guidance as the students fulfil language requirements, secure a supervisor, and compile a supervisory committee. This course is CR/NCR.

Electives

Prof. Xing Fan

Spring, Thursday, 10-12

What does “Asian performance” embrace, on page and on stage?  How do practitioners in Asian cultures define and accomplish aesthetic pursuits?  When do “traditions” begin and end in their cultures? And, how do Asian classical performances relate to contemporary experiments in a global age?  In Asia, theatre, dance, and music are real-life events through which participants celebrate the happiness, joy, coincidence, misunderstanding, crisis, and/or pain, in both the secular and the sacred worlds.  Asian performance contributes to breathtaking and colorful practices, and unique and inspiring aesthetics. This course invites students to explore foundational theories in Asian performance, to integrate hands-on experience in their aesthetic analysis, and to conduct further research based their own academic interest.

Prof.  Domenico Pietropaolo

Spring, Tuesday, 2-4

A rigorous analysis of verbal and gestural improvisation as a form of impromptu performance in the Commedia dell’Arte and related European traditions, from the Renaissance to Dario Fo. The following topics will be examined in detail: the semiotics of improvised performance texts, the biomechanics of improvisation in pantomime, spoken drama and grotesque dance, the structure and function of virtuosic routines, the dramaturgy of improvisation, the aesthetics of buffoonery and the ideology of humour. We will examine representative works from the Commedia dell’Arte repertoire (Scala, Goldoni and Gozzi in particular) as well as selections from contemporary manuals on performance techniques (Perrucci, Gherardi, Lang, Weaver and Fo, among others).

Prof. Nancy Copeland

Spring, Thursday, 10-12

This course will explore the theory and practice of auto/biographical performance. The term auto/biography recognizes that autobiography and biography are often intertwined. Readings will include auto/biographical theory and examples of auto/biographical performance from Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. Topics will include the subjects of auto/biography and forms and dramaturgies of auto/biographical performance. There will be an option of drafting an auto/biographical performance in place of a final essay.

Prof. VK Preston

Spring, Thursday, 1-4

This course brings critical dance studies and performance theory into conversation, examining theories of capital, the senses, and political resistance through art and social movements. The core aim of the course is to explore arguments regarding the circulation and expressivity of bodies in movement. We’ll investigate key texts on transmission and of gesture through Thomas DeFrantz’s theory-ography, André Lepecki’s ‘choreopolice and choreopolitics,’ and Elizabeth Maddock Dillon’s ‘performative commons,’ movement and social practices, as well as media. The course emphasizes diverse, social dimensions of choreography and kinesthetic experience traversing queer, critical race, dis/ability, and feminist studies. Coursework includes attending performances and exploring movement-based practice tasks’ imbrication in art and life, theory and practice.

Prof. Pia Kleber and David Rokeby

Fall & Spring, Wednesday, 6-9 (this 0.5 FCE course runs from September to April)

This interdisciplinary graduate course explores the collision between the arts and technologies with all of its creative potential, unintentional collateral damage, compelling attraction, and complex social implications. It brings together scholars, artists, and students from Drama/Theatre, Visual Studies, Comparative Literature Music, Engineering, and Computer Science who are already excited by and engaged in this intersection. For students coming from an arts background the course offers direct experience of emerging technologies and chance to explore their applications to their research. For students with a technology background, the course provides the opportunity to integrate their research into an art-based, publicly presented project. The course exposes all of the students to rigorous interdisciplinary practices and their conceptual, practical and theoretical challenges through group discussions, concept generation, practical experimentation and research, and engagement with visiting artists. The course will culminate in a collaborative performance project.

Prof. Tamara Trojanowska

Fall, Monday, 1-3

What has happened to the relationship between performance and religion? Has the Enlightenment project successfully secularized Western civilization and our thinking about a human subject in light of its most important horizon – the finitude of existence? Or can we still decipher religious thinking in the works of theatre artists whose practice, like that of the leading Western philosophers, such as Walter Benjamin, Emmanuel Lévinas, and Jacque Derrida, still bear traces of theological underpinnings when dealing with this finitude? These questions, among others, lead our investigation into transgressive cryptotheologies at the crossroads of performance, philosophy and religion in the Western theatre of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Reading and Research Courses

Our departmental policy regarding reading or research courses: 

1. Students can take up to one Y or two H reading/research courses during their studies in our program, including previous MA reading/ research courses.

2. Generally, students who take two H reading/research courses should choose different topics for those and change instructors with a new H course. Exceptions can be made on a case to case basis pending approval of the department’s director or associate director. However, this will not happen on a regular basis.

To request a reading/research course you must: 

1. Write a proposal for such a course.

2. Find an instructor who is willing to take you on as a student for such a course on the basis of your proposal.

3. Submit your proposal (after revisions by your instructor) along with the filled out Request for Reading and/or Research Course form and a tentative reading list. Make sure, that you and the instructor agree on the number, deadlines and grade value of the course assignments.

Make sure that you provide information about the frequency of meetings with your instructor (i.e. bi-weekly 2 hours, weekly 1 hour, monthly four hours).

4. Sign the form, get the signatures of your instructor and finally the signature of the associate director (after approval you can be enrolled by our Graduate Administrator). Always check the School of Graduate Studies deadlines for course enrolment.

Cross-listed Courses

The following courses may be of interest to CDTPS students. Please note that enrolment may be limited as students enrolled in these departments have enrolment priority.

enrol on ACORN

ENG2282HF Ben Jonson
Instructor: J. Astington
Fall, Tuesday, 11-1
 
ENG2535HF Shakespeare and his Contemporaries
Instructor: K. Williams
Fall, Tuesday, 1-3

enrol on ACORN

ITA1645HF Post-Tridentine Religious Drama
Instructor: S. Bancheri
Fall, Monday, 1-3

email instructor (cc grad.womenstudies@utoronto.ca) for permission to enrol, email course add form to grad.womenstudies@utoronto.ca in September

WGS1025HS  Indigenous Aesthetics: Hip Hop, Media and Futurities
Instructor: K. Recollet
Spring, time TBA
 
WGS1018H S  Theories of the Flesh: Transnational Feminist Sensibilities
Instructor: N. Charles
Spring, time TBA

Students whose interests can be served by courses offered in other departments should consult the Associate Director, Graduate about their choices. A few examples include: