Critical Approaches to Theatre and Performance Studies : Feminism, Gender and Sexuality

-  Prof Bishnupriya Dutt

The course attempts to introduce students to feminist scholarship and gender studies related to theatre and performance; to develop a critical understanding of the field of feminist theatre and performance at an advanced level and to apply theoretical models to text and performance contexts. The course will start with the feminist critical approaches to constructing and deconstructing the canon, reviewing woman in theatrical sign systems; the lost practitioners and playwrights’ rereading of historical performance, production contexts, theories of representation: feminism, Lacan and theatre; narratives of desire and the gaze; subjectivity and theatrical representation. The course will also look at French feminist theory, ‘writing the body’, ‘woman speaking’; semiotic and symbolic; jouissance. The second half of the course will cover aspects of Indian theatre history and contemporary practice and relevance of feminist critical interventions in this context. It will reconstruct an alternate historical theoretical narrative of history with the colonial divide between the nautch and the actress and the subsequent reversal of the process in post independent India. It will also study contemporary performances and performers within a feminist critical model.

• Aston, E.F. (1995) An Introduction to Feminism and Theatre, London and New York, Routledge.

• Austin, G. (1990) Feminist Theories for Dramatic Criticism, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan>
• Dolan, J. (1988) The Feminist Spectator as Critic, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

• Case, Sue Ellen (1988) Feminism and Theatre, Macmillan London.

• Butler, Judith, (2007), Gender Trouble, Routledge, London and New York.

• Diamond, Elin (1997), Unmaking Mimesis, Routledge, London and New York.

• Goodman,L,(1998)TheRoutledgeReaderinGenderandPerformance, Routledge, London and New York.