610023 PS American Literature: American Drama: Twentieth-Century American Drama

winter semester 2019/2020 | Last update: 24.07.2019 Place course on memo list
PS American Literature: American Drama: Twentieth-Century American Drama
PS 2
each semester

This proseminar acquaints students with the field of American drama in the 20th century. They become familiar with the dramatic techniques and individual thematic concerns of various representative playwrights and practise reflecting on and writing about American drama by applying a variety of critical approaches.

Students who have successfully completed the proseminar will have developed and strengthened their critical thinking and writing skills by analyzing several American plays of the twentieth century.This includes the thorough preparation of assigned texts as well as regular oral and written contributions.

This proseminar provides an overview of American drama in the 20th century. We will study works created by American playwrights and explore the different techniques these dramatists have developed to stage their artistic concerns, their experience of the socio-cultural and political reality of life in the United States, and their interpretation of the dreams and “myths of a nation en route from a world war to the end of a millennium” as the eminent drama scholar C.W.E. Bigsby describes it.

At the beginning of this course, important theoretical concepts and literary terms connected with the genre of drama will be reviewed. The main focus, however, will be on the analysis of selected plays, which will be discussed in the context of relevant socio-cultural phenomena and political events. To study the plays and to view them from various perspectives, we shall apply different critical approaches and examine pertinent theoretical reflections of literary critics. At the same time, students are encouraged to develop their own “readings” of dramatic literary works.

Starting with the Little Theater Movement, we will move on to reading representative plays associated with modernist and postmodernist drama. Students will be informed about the reading list for this proseminar in the first meeting of the course.

Lecture inputs, weekly viewings/readings, student presentations, group discussions.

Active class participation, student presentations, writing assignments and/or term paper.

As far as possible, course materials and selected primary and secondary sources will be posted on OLAT.

for BA Lehramt (457): positive completion of compulsory module 13

not applicable