Reading & Composition
Bodies of Text in Dramatic Literature
How do you write the body? Dramatic literature is often forced to grapple with this question, because, in most cases, it is writing that will be or has already been performed by live human beings. In this course, we read texts from the genre of dramatic literature to examine their approaches to language and the body. Readings focus primarily on experimental theatre from the 20th century in America, Western Europe, Russia, and Japan, although the course also includes a few readings from classical dramatic literature and a brief examination of naturalism. In these works, we will see how authors and performers use language and the body to explore issues including fate, the subconscious, modernity, capitalism, colonialism, war, revolution, race, gender, and sexuality.
This course satisfies half of the University’s Reading and Composition requirement. Through discussions and writing assignments, we will practice close reading and critical thinking to examine both the content and form of these works. This course aims to help students to become better writers and develop their skills in presenting clear and well-supported arguments about works of art.