This course is an introduction to one of the major genres in literary studies. Students will read, discuss, and analyze, plays from a racially and ethnically diverse group of playwrights from the mid-twentieth century to our contemporary moment in an American context. Students will pursue this work in order to become familiar with the major developments, styles, techniques, and conventions that shape dramatic literature and inform the political potential of the genre. Because this is a course on drama as literature, we will emphasize the interpretation and analysis of dramatic works but also attend to questions of theatricality, spectacle, and performative choices. As a basic introduction to a major genre in the field of literary studies, this course satisfies the university’s Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category. ENG 105 will encourage students to develop analytical skills that allow them to think, write, and speak intelligently about dramatic art.
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.