DRA2083 - Intermedial Performance Practice

2018/9 Module description

StaffProfessor Heike Roms - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module description

Increasingly, contemporary performance, exemplified by such critically acclaimed groups as Gobsquad, Frantic Assembly and Blast Theory, takes the intermedial turn. The term ‘intermedia’ here refers to works that fall between media, such as visual poetry, performative sculpture or vocal dance. This module explores intermedial performance practice in all its socio-cultural, political and philosophical facets. Focusing on canonical works and practitioners from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day, it brings together an array of theoretical approaches in order to investigate the ways in which the different media communicate with each other, and the ways in which the different media communicate with the participants and/or audience. Apart from analysing different practices, you will have the opportunity to engage in ‘performative thinking’, practical experiments and small-group presentations. You will also have the opportunity to pursue independent research into an area of your interest.

Module aims

The primary aim of this module is to explore and analyse the logics, strategies and tools of intermedial performance making. More specifically, it is to identify the fundamental concepts of intermediality and trace their development from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. Students will engage in scholarly research, discussions, experiments and performative thinking in order to gain an embodied understanding of the subject. Apart from providing a theoretical, social and historical overview of key terms and practices this module will also enable the student to conceive work of their own.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the different modes of intermediality, their socio-cultural and philosophical context included
  • 2. Draw on a range of theoretical approaches to critically reflect on the work of key practitioners
  • 3. Demonstrate, through discussions, presentations and mini performances, a creative and intellectual engagement with the logics and strategies of intermedial performance making

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Contribute practical and theoretical research to small groups in effective presentations, evaluate visual evidence and analyse, critique and manipulate complex material
  • 5. Develop the ability to think performatively
  • 6. Initiate and sustain creative and analytic work within strict time limits

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Develop personal research skills using personal initiative; set personal objectives and identify and evaluate personal learning strategies
  • 8. Develop group cooperation skills, including the ability to give and receive constructive critical feedback and to improve communication skills and analytic abilities in discussions
  • 9. Balance between self-direction and collaborative work; self-management, collaborative working skills, problem solving, critical analysis and valuing own and others' ideas and beliefs

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that the module will be organised around three significant changes in the perception of reality and thus also art and life media:

  • The Dynamic Turn which marks the shift from the static perception of the world to a temporal one and is associated with Futurism and Dada.
  • The Deconstructive Turn which marks the passage from the accepted categories of dominance (e.g. ‘idea’, ‘man’, centre’) to a perception of the world based on playful, rather than definite differences and focuses on the work of John Cage and the Fluxus artists.
  • The Digital Turn which marks the shift from the world of originals and copies to that of networks and explores the work of contemporary practitioners such as Blast Theory, Forkbeard Fantasy and Gobsquad.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching33Mixed-mode seminar activities (11 x 3-hour seminars)
Guided Independent Study67Class preparation: assigned reading and viewings; weekly responses to designated topic; practical work
Guided Independent Study70Small group presentation research and preparation
Guided Independent study130Essay research, preparation and writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Online discussion forumWeekly responses to a designated topic approximately 400 words in length1,2,6,7,9Written feedback
In-class discussionStudents will be expected to contribute continuously to seminar sessions1,2,3,8Oral (peer and tutor) feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentations (in groups of 3-4)4040-45 minutes1-5,8,10Written feedback
Essay602000 words1,2,6,7,9Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group presentations (in groups of 3-4)Individual Portfolio (1500 words)1-5,8,10Referral/Deferral period
EssayEssay1,2,6,7,9Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Allen, G. (2000). Intertextuality. London: Routledge.
  • Armstrong, E. et al. (1993). In the Spirit of Fluxus. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center.
  • Barthes, R. (1977). Image, Music, Text. London:Fontana.
  • Bay-Cheng, S. et al. (2010). Mapping Intermediality. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
  • Bolter, J.D & Grusin, R. (2000). Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
  • Cage, J. (1973). Silence: Lectures and Writings. New York: Marion Boyars.
  • Giannachi, G. (2004). Virtual Theatres: An Introduction. London: Routledge.
  • Goldberg, R. (1979). Performance: Live Art 1909 to the Present. London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Herzonerath, B. (2012) Travels in Intermedia[lity]: ReBlurring the Boundaries. Hanover, New Hampshire: Dartmouth College Press.
  • Hill, L. (2007). The Cambridge Introduction to Jacques Derrida. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.?Kaye, N. (1996). Art into Theatre. London: Routledge.?McLuhan, M. (1994). Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.?Wolf. W. & Bernhart, W. (eds.) (2006). Framing Borders in Literature and Other Media. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE – https://vle.exeter.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=3112

Available as distance learning?


Origin date

August 2012

Last revision date


Key words search

Intermedia, Performance

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