Studies in Drama
ENG 285 Netforum (please post by Sunday 11:59pm)
I reserve the right to amend this syllabus.
Harcourt Brace Anthology of Drama. Third Edition.
plays are collected in the Harbrace
Some Secondary Criticism:
Brecht, Sidney, Bakhtin, Boose, Stallybrass, Dryden, Frye, Gay, Maus, Zola, Barthes, Artaud, Esslin, Jameson, Miller, Steiner, Williams, Gates, Diamond, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Case
Description of Course
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 selected plays and critical theory. To that end both "traditional” and "contestatory" texts are represented--categories we'll put into question as well. Consider ENG 285 as an intensive introduction to and immersion in the nature of drama in many of its forms ranging from classical Greek and Elizabethan tragedy, Restoration Comedy, Grand Opera, Realist/Naturalist, Avant-Garde, Modernist-Absurdist, African-American, Feminist, Postmodern, Queer, and contemporary performance art. We will begin with the religious and sacrificial origins of the theater using Aristotle and Kenneth Burke and move to critiques of Aristotle by Brecht, Miller, Case and others. We will attend two performances as a class, one “across campus, and one via a field trip to Chicago.” Screenings of selected other plays will be scheduled/negotiated in class.
Format of Course
Seminar/discussion. Students will 1) post weekly responses to readings/lectures/discussion via NetForum; 2) write an 8-10 page interpretive essay on one of the plays read in the first 7 weeks of the semester; 3) compose a mid-term examination comprised of short answer and essay; and 4)write a 8-12 page paper on drama and performance.
Mandatory. Three absences excused. Final grade will be reduced 1/2 a letter grade for each additional absence.