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ENG 328
The Dialectic
Modern Drama
Fall 2013

Professor: Bill McBride

email: Me
Meeting time:  11:00-12:15 T & R Meeting place: STV 348
Office Hours: T & R 10:00-11:00 am Office:  STV 336 438-7998

Aristotle's Poetics

Merriam-Webster Dictionary/Thesaurus

the Gutenberg Project

Weekly posts and essays posted in ReggieNet
Be sure to enter texts in boxes provided

Mandatory. Three absences excused. Final grade reduced 1/2 letter grade for each additional absence.

Required Texts

Strindberg.  Miss Julie: A Naturalistic Tragedy 1888] Text w/ Author's Preface/TRANSLATED WITH INTRODUCTIONS BY EDWIN BJOeRKMAN
Gutenberg Project



Shaw. Pygmalion [1912] Text Online
Not I [1972] Pas Moi    Not I text

O’Neill.  The Iceman Cometh [1939. 1946] Text Online
Williams. streetcar.gif (4962 bytes) A Streetcar Named Desire [1947] acting script  
Death of a Salesman (1949) a pdf
Beckett. Waiting For Godot Act 1

Waiting For Godot Act 2


Albee. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? [1962]
Crowley. The Boys in the Band[1968]
Jones [Baraka].
Dutchman and "The Revolutionary Theater" (1966)*

Wilson. The Rimers of Eldritch [1967]


Shepard. True West [1980] true west.gif (6596 bytes) pdf



Kushner. Angels in America: Millenium Approaches [1991] *


Parker, Lopez, Stone. The Book of Mormon [2011]


*Available in my Public Domain File

Brecht, Brooks, Artaud, Esslin, Miller, Marx, Kott, Freud, Jones/Baraka, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Case, Deleuze/Guattari and others

Description of Course
Stage & Page. We will attend to performance as inextricable from text.  The course poses the following binary: Does art provide instances of liberation or containment? We'll test the assumption that the theatrical spectacle has the potential to critique the larger spectacle of patriarchy, sexism/heterosexism, orthodox religion, racism, capitalism, militarism, and other politically correct concerns, etc. by reading the structure and effects, obsessions and pleasures, successes and failures of more than a dozen plays and attendant critical theory. To that end both "traditional" and "contestatory" texts are represented--categories we'll put into question as well. Consider ENG 328 as an intensive introduction to, dialectical analysis and immersion in the nature of British and American Modern/Postmodern drama in many of its forms ranging from Realist/Naturalist, Avant-Garde, Modernist-Absurdist, Feminist, Postmodern, Queer, and contemporary performance art. We will attend at least one performance as a class [Cloud 9 directed by Jeremy Garrett 2/23-3/3-Westoff]. Screenings of selected other plays will be scheduled/negotiated in class.

Format of Course
Lecture/Seminar/Playgoing/Screenings/Discussion.  All students will:

1. Post weekly responses (500 word minimum) to readings/lectures/discussion in ReggieNet Discussion Forums due each Thursday 11:59pm;
2. Prepare and when called upon give an analysis of a passage from each week's play;
3. Compose a short interpretive essay on one of the plays scheduled during the first 6 weeks (Grads 3200-4000 words/Undergrads 2500-3200 words) in ReggieNet Assignments
4. A written proposal of the final research project in ReggieNet Discussion Forums
5.A final research paper on "drama" and performance with an eye toward publication (Undergrads 3200-4000/Grads 5000-6000)
in ReggieNet Assignments

I reserve the right to amend this syllabus. Students may not choose those assignments (regardless of the point value) they wish to complete.

Grade evaluation will be determined by satisfying #s 1-5 and the student's ability to synthesize one or more of the theoretical approaches presented in readings and lectures, and apply such a perspective to a cultural "text" or "site" in a well-written, coherent final essay.

Grading Formula
26 points Weekly Discussion Forums posts/writing assignment
14 points Class Participation
25 points Essay #1
35 points Research paper

Cheating and/or plagiarism will not be tolerated. You may be prosecuted to the full extent of University administrative procedures if you are caught engaging in these activities. You cannot turn in someone elseís work, the same paper for two classes, nor a previously composed paper of your own. You must acknowledge all sources in your papers. Any time you use direct quotations or paraphrases, or borrow ideas or structures, including lectures, you must cite your source. Failure to do so will result in an F for the entire course. I will pursue any evidence of plagiarism and report academic dishonesty to the dean of the college of the student in question. Charges of plagiarism become part of the student's permanent file and can be grounds for dismissal from the university.

*Code of Student Conduct
Protecting the rights of the University and the educational process

Illinois State University recognizes that it must create an environment where each student will be free to pursue her or his academic interests without interference from others. This includes upholding the integrity of the academic process as well as providing a community free of disruptions. The following restrictions are designed to foster a healthy and peaceful learning community. Their violation will result in disciplinary action.

1. Academic Dishonesty.
Students are expected to be honest in all academic work. A studentís placement of his or her name on any academic exercise shall be regarded as assurance that the work is the result of the studentís own thought, effort, and study. Violations include but are not limited to:

a. possessing or utilizing any means of assistance (books, notes, papers, articles, etc.) in an attempt to succeed at any quiz or examination unless specifically authorized by the instructor.
b. taking any action with intent to deceive the person in charge as to the studentís acting without honesty to complete an assignment, such as falsifying data or sources, providing false information, etc. Students are prohibited from conversation or other communication in examinations except as authorized by the instructor.
c. appropriating without acknowledgement and authorization anotherís computer program, or the results of the program (in whole or part) for a computer-related exercise or assignment.
d. plagiarizing. For the purpose of this policy, plagiarism is the unacknowledged appropriation of anotherís work, words, or ideas in any themes, outlines, papers, reports, speeches, or other academic work. Students must ascertain from the instructor in each course the appropriate means of documentation.
e. submitting the same paper for more than one University course without the prior approval of the instructors.
f. willfully giving or receiving unauthorized or unacknowledged assistance on any assignment. This may include the reproduction and/or dissemination of test materials. Both parties to such collusion are considered responsible.
g. substituting for another student in any quiz or examination.
h. being involved in the unauthorized collection, distribution advertisement, solicitation, or sale of term papers, research papers, or other academic materials completed by a third party.
*from (pp9-10)