TA 200 Research Methods
Time: Thurs. 3:30-6:15 PM
Location: HGH 114
Graduate study in theatre arts, bibliography, methods of investigation and reporting techniques applicable. Reading and research. Prerequisite: Acceptance to MA program or instructor consent.
Knowledge emerges only through invention and reinvention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other. (Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 58)
TA 200 explores the nature and processes of advanced research in Theatre-Radio-Film and Television. We start by identifying various motives for doing research, explaining why research is important within the professional field and central to academic pursuits.
We study the sequential development of successful research projects, beginning with selection of appropriate research questions - specific, limited areas of investigation worthy of critical scrutiny and expected to make a contribution to the existing literature on the subject. We examine methods for evidence searches, looking at connections between subject matter (topics) and different modes of research, including library searches, field studies, data collection, online sources, and others. We emphasize active evaluative engagement between the researcher and these materials seeking to identify other researchers' intentions and structural methods, to reveal the strengths and limitations of their work and to examine the validity of its conclusions.
We pay particular attention to relationships between research and performance, emphasizing how performance can be a site to gather evidence and to test theory. Finally, we focus on appropriate scholarly reporting techniques including task organization, writing style, documentation, and physical preparation of manuscripts - all geared toward the creation of publishable scholarly research as exemplified by the Master's Thesis.
Course materials include examples of recently published articles in leading journals along with presentations by members of the TRFT faculty covering aspects of their own research projects.