Narration and Performing Arts

Teaching Staff: Zannos Ioannis, Marini Charikleia (Hari)
Course Code: AVA232
Course Type: Elective
Course Level: Undergraduate
Course Language: Greek
Semester: 2nd
Teaching Units: 3
Teaching Hours: 3
E Class Page:

Teaching Structure:
ActivitySemester Workload
Lab Lectures13
Literature Study and Analysis56
Practice and Preparation30
Course Total (ECTS: 5)125

Recquired / Recommended : (THE100)
Prerequisite to / Recommended to: (AVA342), (AVA448), (AVA542)
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Short Description:

The module examines the role of narration in performing arts. Narrative is foregrounded in the form of the premise or story or theme dealt with by a work of art such as a literary or theatrical work or even a visual work. However, in further analysis, narrative as an abstract concept is connected to basic aspects of art, both in the process of creating artistic work and in its understanding. That's why in the module, starting from the narrow meaning of a narrative (hypothesis, autobiography, script), we proceed to the other manifestations that lie behind works of art of various forms (performing arts, performance, artistic interventions, installations, visual arts) under the more general perspective of communicative and semiotic mechanisms, such as who (the voice) narrates, as well as the way and context in which the narration takes place. Therefore, in this module we examine the concept of narrative and its relationship with other concepts that play a role in modern digital and technological arts in general, from the perspective of the work of art as part of the cultural process and its relationship to society and science. It is also examined in comparison and contrast with other related concepts such as myth, ritual, simulation, game, etc. In this way, the module investigates how narration can be used as a methodology for the development and creation of artistic interventions, as well as for understanding the process and its mechanisms, especially in relation to projects that use new technologies.

Objectives - Learning Outcomes:
  • Understanding of methodologies and techniques in different narrative forms - fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, script, coding, articles, autobiography, novella, essays, articles
  • Development of critical thinking and hands-on experimentation with regard to structure, form, symbolism and narrative context
  • Production of texts (creative writing) that can form a basis for artistic works
  • Practical experience in the process of transferring narrative from the written text to other art forms
  • Analysis of works of art (theatre, visual arts, music, etc.) in relation to their narrative structure
  • Understanding the role of storytelling in relation to the transmission of embodied knowledge (physical exercises, improvisation, writing, objects) and codified knowledge (programming, algorithm, digital technology)

1st Week - Introduction: Definitions. What is Narrative: Examples of Narratives in performing arts. Conceptual analysis and comparison with other related concepts (myth, game, story, hypothesis, theme, simulation, ritual, process, construct/construction)

2nd Week - Form and Structure - what is the form of the narrative/story? Analysis of works of art (figurative, literary, visual, performance, etc.) in relation to their narrative elements

3rd Week - Narrative and memory. Autobiography, authenticity and subjectivity. Practical applications and experimentation

4th Week - Narrative and ritual. Embodied knowledge, code, algorithm and narrative

5th Week - Grand narrative. The grand narratives in history and now

6th Week - The relationship between body, writing and narrative. Performative production of narrative

7th Week - Experimental creation of texts (stories, dialogues, poetry, screenplay, autobiography, etc.)

8th Week - Processing the texts created in relation to theme, style, rhythm, perspective, aesthetics, sources

9th Week - Transforming the texts created into other forms of art (e.g. performance, music, visual installation, etc.)

10th Week - Construction, deconstruction, synthesis. Presentation of ideas in relation to how written text provides different forms of storytelling and presentations of work-in-progress, feedback

11th Week - Recipient of the narrative (audience, reader etc). The unfamiliar, co-declaration, interpretation

12th Week - Group work, feedback. The objective of the narrative work created by the students (subject, time, place, form, style, aesthetics) in relation to the audience/recipient

13th Week - Review topics/sections. Analysis and discussion of assignments

Suggested Bibliography:
  • Αγραφιώτης, Δημοσθένης. 2022. Επιτέλεση. Αθήνα: Νήσος.
  • Αυγητίδου, Αγγελική Ν. και Ιφιγένεια Σ. Βαμβακίδου. 2013. Performance Now 1. Επιτελεστικές Πρακτικές στην Τέχνη και Δράσεις in situ. Αθήνα: Ίων.
  • Bathes, Roland. 1977. "The Death of the Author". In: Image, Music Text. London: Fontana Press.
  • Gale, Maggie B. and Viv Gardner, eds. 2004. Auto/Biography and Identity: Women, Theatre and Performance. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • Grillmair, Rosi. 2019. Code and Poetry: An Exploration of Logic throughout Art, Computation and Philosophy. MA thesis.
  • Ingold, Tim. 2007. Lines: A Brief History. Oxon and New York: Routledge.
  • Perec, Georges. 2008. Species of Spaces and Other Pieces. London: Penguin Classics.

Online sources

  • Chaucer, Cameron. Short History of Poetry Film
  • Jahn, Manfred. 1999. "'Speak, friend, and enter': Garden Paths, Artificial Intelligence, and Cognitive Narratology". In: Herman, David, ed. Narratologies: New Perspectives on Narrative Analysis. Ohio: Ohio State UP. 167-194. Full text (pdf):
  • Tears in the Fence: An Independent, International Literary Magazine
  • Wasafiri: International Contemporary Writing
Teaching Methods:
  • Lectures, screenings, discussion
  • Workshops, experiential exercises, writing
  • Assignments on given topics and presentations during the semester
  • Development of research questions
  • Study, independent research
  • Practical and written assignments
New Technologies:

Audiovisual technologies, video, sensors, Ιnternet

Evaluation Methods:

The students are asked to produce their own project in relation to performing arts, in which they present the narrative structure of the topic they have chosen. The topic, the form of the narrative as well as the artistic form that will be chosen will depend on the students’ interests and will be discussed and elaborated in consultation with the tutors. 

  • Presentations of tasks and theoretical approaches during the module
  • Presentation of an artistic project under the guidance of the tutors
  • Written work, analysis of the narrative devices, purpose, form and references of the practical work/artwork

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