English 165

Special Topics: Alrish

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Spring 2021 Flynn, Catherine
TTh 2-3:30

Book List

Beckett, Samuel: Waiting for Godot; Boucicault, Dion: The Colleen Bawn ; Carr, Marina: The Bog of Cats; Congreve, William: The Way of the World ; Friel, Brian: Translations; Shaw, George Bernard: Pygmalion; Sheridan, Richard Brinsley : The School for Scandal; Synge, John Millington: The Playboy of the Western World ; Wilde, Oscar: The Importance of Being Earnest ; Yeats, William Butler: Cathleen ni Houlihan


This course will use both traditional and digital humanities methods to explore Irish drama from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Working through a series of historical periods, we will consider individual plays in their own right and against their contemporaries by referring to computational analyses of formal, lexical, and stylistic features (such as sentence length, speech length, scene length, number of characters, frequency of words and groups of words in individual plays). We will also consider individual plays in relation to scenes generated by artificial intelligence using the results of analyses of their periods. Throughout the course, we will consider how drama explores the relation between individual and collective identity; towards the close of the course, we will think about how to understand the dramatic medium at a moment in which individual subjectivity and collective life are increasingly routed through and constituted by digital space and subject to surveillance and data collection.

Knowledge of coding is not a prerequisite for the course. Assignments: two short essays, some quantitative analysis, and participation in a performance at the end of the semester. All texts will be available through bCourses.

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