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Modern Drama WWI-Present

ENGL 077.401
instructor(s):
TR 3-4:30

This course is conducted as a lecture/discussion that surveys some to the most influential dramatists of the Modern European Theatre----Brecht, Artaud, Beckett, Pirandello--and considers their influence on American and British playwrights--Pinter, Shepard, Churchill, Kennedy, O'Neill, Williams, Miller. In the last third of the term we will study the work of "non-canonical" authors--mostly women and "third world" authors--and discuss the politics, ethics, and aesthetics of canon formation. This is a class that requires a high-level of intellectual engagement. We will be discussing rather "abstract" philosophical concepts--such as the way that subjectivity, the "self," is constituted in and through representation. It will require a fair amount of reading difficult philosophical and psychoanalytic texts. Not recommended for students who consider dramatic literature to be "light entertainment." Course requirements: two formal papers, several short response papers, in-class unannounced quizzes, and a comprehensive final exam. (NOTE: We recommend that you take the introduction to theatre before taking this class, although it is not a prerequisite.)