Fall 2019 Undergraduate English Courses

358:206 Introduction to Literary Studies

01  TTH5   CAC   33963   KERNAN   HH-A1

02   TTH6  CAC   33964   KERNAN   HH-A1

Black Drama

This seven week-mini course (offered for 1.5 credits) will introduce students to the history of African American drama via a survey of canonical African-American plays and playwrights, and offers a panorama of African American theatrical production spanning from (1850 to 2002). Issues addressed will include: the place of “plantation performances” in the development of minstrelsy and its mimetic inversions, the central role played by the pulpit (or African American Christianity) in determining the function of performance before and after Civil War, the manifestation of so-called “African retentions” in Black theater, the reworking of these retentions by playwrights associated with the Black Arts Movement, and the various manners in which African American theater has ritualized theatrical spaces to preserve and create African-American identity and its cultural values, affinities, and affiliations throughout the course of its existence, from its inaugural beginnings to its most recent productions.  We will read works by William Wells Brown, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, Ntozake Shange, and August Wilson.  Evaluation will be based on active and engaged participation, short reading quizzes, and a take-home final.