Circus History and Culture - Cultural Theory and Representation

BCA20003 12.5 Credit Points Prahran


  • One Semester or equivalent

Contact hours

  • 36 hours

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning.

2022 teaching periods


NICA NICA Semester 2 NICA NICA Semester 2

12 Jul 21 - 3 Dec 21

7 Dec 21

Last self enrolment:
25 Jul 21

13 Aug 21

11 Jul 22 - 4 Dec 22

6 Dec 22

Last self enrolment:
24 Jul 22

12 Aug 22

Last withdraw without fail:
23 Sep 22

Aims and objectives

In this unit students examine the political and social influences and impacts upon the field of circus arts over time and into the future. Students will explore the history and culture of circus through its representations, rules, norms, transgressions, language, political and social moments and movements. Throughout the unit students also investigate the idea of circus, exploring representations through other media (including film, literature and art). This study provides students with further grounding in scholarly investigation practices and develops skills in performance analysis.

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:
1. Outline key political movements relating to or impacting circus genres and instances.
2. Examine how circus has been represented in other art forms, including film, literature and art.
3. Develop hypotheses regarding contemporary circus arts and its future directions, taking into account shifts in technological and political environments.
4. Analyse and deconstruct performance intent in a range of contexts.

Courses with unit

BA-CIRCA1 Bachelor of Circus Arts