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Fall 2017 Undergraduate English Courses

358:357 Later Twentieth Century Theater and Drama

01   T6   CAC   18490  DIAMOND   CA-A1
       TH6                                      HH-A4

We will explore the stunning experimentation and vitality in theater and performance from mid-century to 1999 in the US, Europe, So.Asia and Africa. We'll start with Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot (1952) which blasted open the old expectations of plot, character, time and space. But we'll also read Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun (1959), a realist family play about African American striving. Our syllabus will contain a healthy mixture of styles, from the experimental to the realistic, and moods--tragic, comic, satiric, farcical--as we investigate how the big ideas of this period found their way onto Western stages.

We'll read plays about racial identity and struggle by, among others, Amiri Baraka, Adrienne Kennedy, and Suzan-Lori Parks. We'll read plays on gender struggle by, among others, Caryl Churchill, Simone Benmussa, David Henry Hwang, and Tony Kushner. We'll look at plays about war, terrorism, and globalization by, among others, David Rabe, Sarah Kane, and Manjula Padmanabhan.

We will go to the theater, either locally or in New York City, to see how a play we've read comes to life before our eyes.

Students will contribute with some regularity to a sakai discussion site. Grading will be based on a short paper, a longer paper, a presentation, a final exam, and class participation.