WMST 215 - Pre-modern Drama: Text and Performance before 1800
Semester Offered: Spring
(Same as ENGL 215 ) Study of selected dramatic texts and their embodiment both on the page and the stage. Authors, critical and theoretical approaches, dramatic genres, historical coverage, and themes may vary from year to year.
Topic for 2017/18b: Gender Transgression on the Early Modern Stage. According to Jonathan Goldberg, the early modern theatre was “permitted to rehearse the dark side of Elizabethan culture…[it was] a recreative spot where sedition could wear the face of play.” This course explores how drama represented “seditions” against the gendered social order. Our subjects include cross-dressers, disobedient wives, adulterers, witches, husband-murderers, and characters whose desires transgress boundaries of both gender and class. We take varied approaches to the plays, situating them in their historical and cultural contexts, examining their structure and language, reading them through the lenses of contemporary performance and criticism, and occasionally performing scenes ourselves. Leslie Dunn.
Two 75-minute periods.
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