EGL 102 - Introduction to the Study of Literature: Dramatic Literature and Social Justice
Course Units: 1.0
(Fall: Wareh; Winter: Wareh; Spring: Wareh, Venning) In this course we will explore how plays engage audiences and readers in fundamental questions about human identity. Not only do plays acted on the stage abound in examples of characters who switch places or are mistaken for one another, they also provide a forum for individual characters to question their relationships with the people and culture that surround them. Even as plays stage the most private of feelings in a public setting, they also suggest that human interactions frequently involve playing a role. Dramatic literature puts front and center the ways in which many forms of identity-including gender and race-are socially constructed. At the same time that this course offers a wide-ranging introduction to the forms of dramatic literature, it will pay special attention to the ways in which play present questions of social justice. Who is given and denied agency? How do plays stage and raise awareness of problems of inequity? How do plays both reinforce and critique the stereotypes connected to gender, race and mental illness.
As we explore to the different forms of identity negotiated on the stage, we will be alert to how our own diverse experiences shape our experiences as readers and audience members. We will ask how plays such as Antigone, Much Ado about Nothing, and A Doll’s House reveal the constrictions of gender roles. We will explore the varied ways in which plays such as A Raisin in the Sun, Clybourne Park, Fences, and Sweat represent the racism that interferes with the full participation in the American Dream, seen in both employment and housing. And we will explore how Water by the Spoonful and The Flick represent the struggles of drug addiction, PTSD, anxiety, and depression in a diverse American Society .
100-level courses are open to all students. Cross-Listed: ATH 104 CC: HUL, WAC, HUM, JLIT
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