Unconscious Curriculum: Rape Culture on Campus


Event Web site


Unconscious Curriculum: Rape Culture on Campus
Written and devised by Theatre and Performance students
Directed by Andy Houston

March 16, 17 & 18 at 8 pm
March 19 at 2pm
March 23 at 7pm

How have we become complicit in the normalization of sexual violence? When post-secondary education addresses difficult, personal, and even traumatic subject matter, what kind of learning outcome should we expect? Unconscious Curriculum: Rape Culture on Campus is a performance project that tackles the complicated layers of rape culture in an educational context.

In a multimedia performance, student-performers dig deep to discover how rape culture is perpetuated in their classrooms and on their campus. Part of a yearlong project with the working title “Arresting Rape Culture”, the upcoming public performance is drawn from the research and creative work developed by students and faculty in three fall 2016 courses in performance, writing, and design. Unconscious Curriculum asks the audience to be witnesses, and even participants, in an exploration of mutual complicity in rape culture, including hidden factors and post-secondary educational practices, that normalize gender-based violence. Acting as characters not so far removed from their actual lives, the performers strive to articulate ways of experiencing and understanding themselves in relation to others, with the overarching goal to arrest – to recognize, to catch, and to stop – rape culture.

There will be audience talkback session, led by director Andy Houston, following each performance allowing audience members to engage in conversation about rape culture and our process of creation.


University of Waterloo,

200 University Avenue West, Waterloo

Theatre of the Arts,

Modern Languages Building



$17 General

$13 Students & Seniors

$5 eyeGO

Box Office: 519.888.4908

Groups of 10+ call: 519-888-4767

Unconscious Curriculum will be accompanied by three thought-provoking events that contextualize and deepen the performance experience:

Arresting Rape Culture Dramaturgy Hub


The objective of the hub is to provide students and faculty with pedagogical, curricular, and theatre and performance creation resources in order to facilitate a deeper contextual understanding about the complexities of rape culture. The site offers:

  • support networks
  • a range of media from the fifteenth-century to contemporary popular culture
  • critical resources and related reading
  • theatre, performance, and art project information
  • a dialogical space with students’ responses, classroom activities, and question centre
  • information about collaborative course-related projects, the panel discussion about gendered violence, and the multimedia performance of “Unconscious Curriculum: Rape Culture on Campus.”

Arresting Rape Culture Installation

Theatre of the Arts GalleryMarch 14 – 19 (1 hour prior to the performance)

Students of DRAMA/SPCOM 440 will provide creative reflections, through multi-disciplinary art works, on the prevalence of gender-based violence within contemporary North American society. These installations examine how the rhetoric of rape culture is supported and circulated throughout institutions, social interactions and popular channels of communication.

 Gendered Violence on Campus: Institutional Policy and Practice

Location TBA – Thursday, March 23, 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

This panel addresses gendered violence, with specific attention to institutional challenges and UWaterloo’s response. Invited speakers include Constance Backhouse, Professor and University Research Chair on the Sexual Assault Legislation in Canada, University of Ottawa; Ian Orchard, Vice President Academic and Provost, UWaterloo; Chris Read, Associate Provost, Students, UWaterloo. Further panelists, including UWaterloo students, will be announced at a later date.

This panel is hosted by the Department of Drama and Speech Communication, the Equity Office and the Special Adviser to the President (Women’s and Gender Issues).

** Please note that the final performance of Unconscious Curriculum: Rape Culture on Campus will be at 7 p.m. following this panel
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Twitter = @UWTheatrePerf #UnconsciousCurriculum #ArrestRapeCulture

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