English R1B

Reading and Composition: Drama's Function in Literature, Philosophy, and the Visual Arts

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Spring 2015 Jeziorek, Alek M
MWF 11-12 225 Wheeler

Book List

Brecht, Bertolt: Threepenny Opera; Woolf, Virginia: Between the Acts

Other Readings and Media

A course reader with selected short texts from the following writers: Plato, Diderot, Oscar Wilde, Stéphane Mallarmé, Charles Baudelaire, Robert Browning, Richard Wagner, W.E.B. Du Bois, Mina Loy, Zora Neale Hurston, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Nella Larsen, F.T. Marinetti, André Breton, Judith Butler, Peter Brook, Philip Auslander. 

A selection of paintings.


This class takes its cue from the etymological connection between theater, spectator, and theory in ancient Greek. The shared root for theater (theatron, or “place of seeing”), spectator (theōros) and theory (theōria, “contemplation or speculation”) suggests that the theater offers a venue for the spectator to see the performance of a dramatic text, to frame it visually within the architecture of the theater, and to produce theory. Investigating the theater’s unique capacity to perform and absorb other discourses and artistic media, this class will examine how specifically dramatic philosophy, visual art, poetry, and politics manifest the limits of each medium and create the possibility of integrating them into live experience.

Second in the series of Reading and Composition courses, this class asks students to extend the lessons of R1A toward writing a research paper: students will read closely and re-read, ask fruitful questions, develop several perspectives on a question through research, write and revise. This class intends to demystify what appears to be the daunting task of writing a long research-driven paper by focusing on writing as a process with many small steps. To that end, the assignments will consist of writing proposals and essays that work up to the length of a research paper, revising extensively, peer editing, building an annotated bibliography, and planning a working outline, among other smaller assignments. There will also be a diagnostic essay, as well as a creative project wherein students will be asked to adapt a non-theatrical text from class or from their respective disciplines for performance.

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