Course Description

Course Name

The Theatre Image

Session: VLNF3423

Hours & Credits

10 UK Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Assessment: essay (4000 words) [80%], coursework portfolio [20%]

What is the nature of theatrical images? How do images function in the theatre? Is it possible to conceive of a theatre without images, or at least without ‘visual’ ones? Who are images for? What do they do? How have they been put to use? 
Questions around the theatrical image and its rhetorics serve as a framework for seminar-based encounter with a range of key historical texts by writers such as Plato, Saint Augustine, Kleist, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Proust and later writers such as Derrida, Agamben and Rancière, specifically texts that focus upon encounters with the performed image. Such readings, which may also involve non-literary ‘texts’ such as paintings, drawings and films, draw attention to ways in which theatre’s image of the world – as well as images of theatre in the world – have been constructed and challenged in particular places and times. They offer students an opportunity to reflect upon the power and danger, the fascinations and disappointments, the ubiquity and peculiarity of theatrical events, in history and also in their own more recent experience. 
Readings throughout the module will be supplemented by theatre visits and / or other visual and audio materials, through which a developed historical understanding may be brought towards reflection upon the status and function of images, as well as practices of spectatorship, in contemporary theatrical performance. 
Students will work towards a research portfolio that will include a short image analysis, and an extended critical essay based around the module readings.

*Course content subject to change