This course is an introduction to drama, one of the major genres in literary studies. Students will read, discuss, and analyze plays from a variety of periods and national traditions in order to become familiar with the major styles, techniques, and conventions that characterize dramatic literature. Although this is a course on drama as literature, with an emphasis on the interpretation and analysis of dramatic texts, students will explore the performative dimensions of drama as well. The course will provide a broad introduction to theoretical and historical debates that stand at the center of literary studies today, and students will have the chance to enter into these debates through critical writing assignments totaling at least 8-10 pages. Readings typically average one play per week, in addition to which students may be expected to attend out-of-class screenings of dramatic performances.
Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience. Major II students can also use one lower-division elective to fulfill the Writing Requirement with ENG 209 The Craft of the Sentence.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.