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ENG 285
Sections 1 & 3


Spring 2003


ENG 285 Section 1 (9-9:50] WebBoard 

ENG 285 Section 3 (10-10:50] WebBoard 

(please post by Thursday 8 pm)

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Bill McBride
STV 308 MWF 9-9:50
STV 436 MWF 10-10:50
STV 336                                                      
Spring 2003
Monday & Wednesday:  11-12
Voice: 309 438 7998

I reserve the right to amend this syllabus.

Required Plays/Texts

Worthen, W.BThe Harcourt Brace Anthology of Drama. Brief Edition/1st Edition.

Brian Jones Presents The Pipes Of Pan At Jajouka 

January 13, 15, 17
.  Oedipus Rex* [431 BC ?]; intro drama, theater, and culture/classical athens ; Breuer/Telson Gospel at Colonus  

Oedipus on-line Project Gutenberg
Oedipus the King (Taylor, 1984)

January 22 (MLK day/no classes), 24, 26

Marlowe.  Doctor Faustus*[1589],  medieval & renaissance england, exchangist logic Dr. Faustus on-line Project Gutenberg cover

Ghirlandaio's Jerome in His Study

January 27, 29, 31
Shakespeare.  Hamlet* [1601], the slacker Hamlet on-line

February 3, 5, 7
Behn. The Rover* [1677], early modern europe,

February 10, 12, 14
Wagner.  Tristan und Isolde, love and death. The complete artwork

February 17, 19, 21
Ibsen. A Doll House* [1879], modern europe, naturalism, feminism Doll House on-line

February 24, 26, 28
Shaw: Major Barbara*1905 comedy of manners, militarism, bourgeois utopia, the dialectic

March 3, 5, 7 
Brecht: Mother Courage and Her Children* 1939 militarism, the alienation effect, didactic art
March 10, 12, 14  No Class due to spring break: 
March 17, 19, 21
Miller.  Death of a Salesman[1949] dysfunction, the slacker, Schlondorff's camera

March 24, 26, 28
Beckett: Endgame*; apocalypse, the couple, postmodernity  Not I [1972] Pas Moi; subjectivity in language 
    Not I text 

March 31, April 2, 4
Albee.  Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf [1962]  the couple, self-loathing, Nichols' camera

April 7, 9, 11
Baraka/JonesDutchman *[1964]; radical black consciousness
                                                                     cover  Frantz Fanon

April 14, 16, 18
Shepard. True West [1980]  acting, identity, myth             

April 21, 23, 25
. Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes: Millennium Approaches* 1991 doubling, gender interrogation, queer theory, brechtian performance, hiv

April 28, 30, May 2
Open week for consultations, etc.

*These plays are collected in the Harbrace anthology.

Some Secondary Criticism:

Brecht, Fanon, 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,  if funds are available from the Dean.   Our attention to performance will include analyzing filmed versions of certain plays and the stylized use of camera, lighting, spatial relationships, sound and editing in order to confer these directorial choices into meaning.  Comparing stage and screen versions will better advance our inquiry into drama's ontological status.

Format of Course

     Seminar/discussion. Students will: 
1) post weekly responses to readings/lectures/discussion via WebBoard; 
2) write an 8-10 page interpretive essay on one of the plays read in the first 7 weeks of the semester; 
3) compose and take a mid-term examination comprised of short answers and essays; 
4) write a final 10-15 page paper on drama and performance

Grading Formula
  5 points In-class contributions
15 points Weekly WebBoard posts
20 Essay #1
  5 points Contribute questions to MidTerm Examination
30 points MidTerm Examination
25 points 10-15 pp. research paper

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