Because it blurs the boundaries between fantasy and reality, romance can be seen as a metaphor for the literary imagination itself. In this course, we will explore the romance genre's flights into worlds of dream and desire to reflect more broadly on the nature and function of literature in its imaginative reinventions and enlargements of reality. Readings will include Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Apuleius's The Golden Ass, William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest, Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, selections from Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote, the films Pan's Labyrinth and Stalker and brief critical and theoretical readings. In addition to daily readings, course requirements will include brief written responses, discussion questions, and three essays emphasizing close readings and the techniques of literary analysis learned in class.
"English" is a little word for lots of things. Is it literature you want today, or creative writing? film? theater? journalism? debate? Maximum English introduces you to all these areas and to our unique resources for studying and enjoying them--the full range of "English" here at UR. So you'll learn the fundamentals of reading and viewing from the department's own creative writers, its literary and film critics and historians, and its theater directors. You'll enlarge the experience of reading literature and criticism by listening to writers read their own original work and then discussing it with them. You'll experience plays not only as written scripts but as living theatrical events by attending performances and talking to actors, directors, and designers about what they do to bring a play to the stage. You'll encounter works in different media, from the live human voice to printed books, from the stage to film and electronic hypermedia. Maximum English will launch you into real English--the new expanded version. Applicable English Clusters: Modern and Contemporary Literature; Novels; Plays, Playwrights, and Theater; Poems, Poetry, and Poetics.
This course will focus on plays representing each of Shakespeare’s major dramatic formscomedy, history, tragedy, and romance. We learn about the literary and theatrical conventions that would have been second nature to Shakespeare and his audience 400 years ago; consider how Shakespeare’s writing responded to his audience’s cultural, literary, political, and religious concerns; and ask how Renaissance stage practices might help us to better understand his plays and better appreciate why Renaissance audiences found them so compelling. We will discuss, among other topics, Shakespeare’s method of constructing his characters’ psychological dilemmas, his depiction of sensational and often violent events, his use of props, his insistent references to contemporary play-writing and performance practices (including the Renaissance tradition of boy actors playing women’s roles), and his depiction of relations between ruler and subject, husband and wife, parents and children, and European and non-European characters. Classes will center around careful study of individual plays, including, when possible, analysis of recent interpretations of key passages on the stage or on film. We will proceed through a combination of lecture, class discussion, and small group work. Applicable English Clusters: Plays, Playwrights, and Theater; Great Books, Great Authors.
This course immerses students in the most challenging, influential, and engaging writings from the earlier periods of English literature. Our aim will be to enjoy and understand these writings in themselves, and then to see their relation to each other and to their larger historical context. Students should leave the course with some real affection for particular writings, and some assured sense of the contours and highlights of cultural history. Our emphasis will be on the careful appreciation of language and texture in representative texts and authors (including Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Jonson, Milton, Dryden, Swift, Pope and their contemporaries). Class will proceed by lecture and discussion. Applicable English Cluster: Great Books, Great Authors.
This course provides a basic introduction to some of the major works and themes in American literature, focusing primarily on the development of the novel and essay with some attention to poetry and drama. We will begin in the 19th century and work our way through such contemporary writers as Toni Morrison and Tony Kushner. Our focus will be on the creation of a national identity and how issues of race, gender, class and sexuality intersect with the formation of an American literary tradition. Students will trace a number of important themes such as the relationship between politics and art, the impact of slavery and the Civil War, immigration, the American dream and the development of a national mythology. In our study of various movements in the American literary tradition, we will also pay close attention to the intellectual debates concerning audience, language, and the purpose of art that have shaped key texts and historical time periods. Lectures will provide social and cultural background to the literary works discussed in class. Applicable English Cluster - American and African American Studies.
As an introduction to the art of film, this course will present the concepts of film form, film aesthetics, and film style, while remaining attentive to the various ways in which cinema also involves an interaction with audiences and larger social structures. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
This class provides an introduction to the writing of poetry and short fiction. Through weekly workshops and writing exercises, students will experiment with various poetic and literary forms, develop their voices as writers, and refine their use of language. Students will also discuss the formal components of poetry and the short story by doing close readings of various contemporary and earlier literary texts. At the end of the course, students will participate in a reading and present their work orally to the entire class.
This class will be structured as a writing workshop, with students sharing their own fiction and participating in critiques. We will read and discuss stories from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by influential writers, including Poe, Melville, Chekhov, Flaubert, Dinesen, Faulkner, Baldwin, Angela Carter, and Welty. Students will have the chance to experiment with different styles and structures as they learn about literary invention. We'll consider techniques for shaping fictional characters and the related issue of point of view, the possibilities of narrative design, the role of setting and description, and the process of revision. Permission of instructor required. Applicable English Cluster: Creative Writing; Novels.
This is an introductory course for students who have already begun to write some poetry on their own. Every week students' poems will be discussed in a workshop format. Selected works by contemporary poets (such as Plath, Walcott, Ginsberg, Ashbery, Rich, Heaney, and others) will provide an essential background for examining various approaches and techniques. Specific or "open" assignments will be given weekly. Permission of instructor required. Please submit 3-5 poems to the instructor, preferably before the first class, since space is limited. Applicable English Clusters: Poems, Poetry, and Poetics; Creative Writing.
A course devoted to the understanding and execution of dramatic writing that is unique to the theatre. Students will analyze and discuss selected readings while writing an original one-act play to be completed by the end of the semester. Meets during one half of the semester only. Contact the Theatre Program at 275-4959 for details. Applicable English Cluster: Creative Writing.
Reporting and Writing the News introduces the student to journalistic writing and reporting techniques. Through a variety of classroom exercises, seven major writing assignments and a term paper, students learn to prepare accurate, balanced, complete coverage of a news topic. Students progress from single-source interviewing to news profiles, speech coverage, meetings, more complex formats, and finally, news analysis. Additional writing experience is gained through rewriting assignments, as directed by detailed editing comment. From lecture, textbooks, reading daily and periodical newspapers, the students learn to identify newsworthy topics and to develop appropriate interview techniques to produce clear, objective reports under specific deadlines. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
Basic public speaking is the focus of this course. Emphasis is placed on researching speeches, using appropriate language and delivery, and listening critically to oral presentations. English 134 contains two quizzes, a final exam, and four speeches to be given by the student. The speeches include a tribute, persuasive, explanatory, and problem solving address. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
The purpose of this course is to give students an appreciation for and knowledge of critical thinking and reasoned decision-making through argumentation. Students will research both sides of a topic, write argument briefs, and participate in formal and informal debates. Students will also be exposed to the major paradigms used in judging debates. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
An introduction to Technical Theatre and Theatre Technology: its materials, techniques and equipment. Focuses on the principles and practice of set construction; the nature and use of electricity; lighting and sound equipment; tools; production organization and management; and the importance of safety in all areas. Course will include both lecture and significant hands-on experience. Practical laboratory work in association with the productions of the International Theatre Program is included.
An introductory/intermediate course on the materials, techniques and equipment involved in Sound and Lighting as used in theatrical applications. Focuses on the principals and practices of implementation and design. Safety practices will be taught. Course will include lecture, one-on-one tutorials, and hands-on practical laboratory work in association with a production of the International Theatre Program.
Acting Techniques focuses on the students ability to analyze texts from a performers viewpoint, on heightening the actors sensitivity to language, on developing the actors physical and vocal technique, on building awareness of character and characterization, and on engaging and actively developing creativity and imagination. This is done by constant investigation, rehearsal, and presentation of assorted texts ranging from poetry to contemporary and classical scenes and monologues. No prior acting experience or classwork is required.
An introductory course on voice and movement for the actor, concentrating on the ability of the actor to maximize the use of the body and voice to express emotion and character.
This is an introductory course focusing on directing for the theatre. The class will guide students through the directing process: from textual interpretation and production conceptualization, through staging and visualization, to working with actors.
"To men I shall speak wisdom where none speak a word on earth; though sons of land-dwellers now eagerly seek after my tracks, I sometimes hide my path from everyone." Riddle 94 of the Exeter Book. In following the dark tracks of the Old English writers who left their almost unrecognizable English words on tenth-century vellum, we will have to acquire skills and tools. This course will ask you to learn the Old English language, but translations will also be provided for most of the texts as a guide only. With these in hand, we will explore the dark world of Anglo-Saxon writing for its illuminations, but our emphasis will be on loss, love, hardship, riddle, wisdom, and the spiritual and magical powers of writing in a culture that stood on the cusp of orality and literacy. Texts: King Alfred, The Chronicles, Aelfric's "Preface to Genesis", The Wanderer, The Seafarer, the Wife's Lament, Wulf and Eadwacer, Gnomes, Enigmas, The Battle of Maldon. Applicable English Cluster: Medieval Studies. Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for the major.
See course description for IT196Q. Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.
This course focuses on drama written by Shakespeare's contemporaries. Classes center around careful study of individual plays. We consider, among other topics, the playwrights' emphases on their characters' psychological interiority, their staging of funeral pageants and madness, their use of props, their fascination with sensational and often violent events, their interest in memory, and their insistent references to contemporary performance practices (including the Renaissance tradition of boy actors playing women's roles). We also become familiar with descriptions of sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century theatrical spaces-- their geographical location and physical properties, the composition of their audiences, the training and performance practices of their actors, and the aesthetic, economic, and political contexts of their productions. And we sort through the plays' depiction of the proper relations between ruler and subject, husband and wife, parents and children, and European and non- European characters. Readings include plays by Beaumont and Fletcher, Cary, Dekker, Ford, Jonson, Kyd, Marlowe, Middleton, Shakespeare, and Webster. Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for the English major. Applicable English Cluster: Plays, Playwrights, and Theater.
This course will study the seventeenth-century lyrics sometimes classified as "metaphysical poetry." Authors will include John Donne, George Herbert, Richard Crashaw, Henry Vaughan, Thomas Traherne, and Andrew Marvell. "In perusing the works of this race of authors," Samuel Johnson wrote at the end of the eighteenth century, "the mind is exercised either by recollection or inquiry; either something already learned is to be retrieved, or something new is to be examined." We will exercise our minds in this class both by retrieving the cultural material out of which these poets fashioned their ideas and by examining the formal strategies that enable them to enact metaphysical propositions in their poems. I expect the majority of our class time will be spent on close reading. Course requirements: one paragraph Discussion Topics, due in each class, and three five-page papers.
This course examines the problem of possession, romantic and economic, in the nineteenth-century British novel. What is the connection between marriage and romance with other forms of possession such as land, money, or things, in the nineteenth-century British novel? In addressing this question, we will discuss how narrative devices and genres like the marriage-plot or national tale offer vehicles for novelists such as Walter Scott, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, and George Eliot to explore the linkages between romance, sexuality, property, and capitalism. Other key topics for the class will include (but not be limited to) nationalism, the “woman question” and the problem of separate spheres, changes in class structure, and British imperialism. Applicable English Cluster: Novels.
The course covers the period roughly between World War I and World War II, dealing with the rich creativity we associate with Modernism. We will read and discuss such writers as Eliot, Faulkner, Hemingway, Dos Passos, Steinbeck, etc., studying not only the works but some of the major trends in art, culture, and knowledge that make the modern period so important and exciting. The method will be a combination of close reading, lecture, and discussion with (probably) one short paper and one longish paper. Not open to freshmen. Applicable English Clusters: American and African American Studies; Modern and Contemporary Literature.
This course surveys the entire tradition of African-American drama, paying particular attention to the genre's formal characteristics. Plays will also be read and discussed with attention to specific historical and thematic contexts, such as the era of slavery, social protest, interracial relations, intra-racial differences of class, gender, and sexuality, and contemporary attitudes toward black history. Featured playwrights include James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Alice Childress, Charles Fuller, Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Suzan-Lori Parks, Ntozake Shange, Anna Deavere Smith, August Wilson, George C. Wolfe, and others. Required texts include "Black Theatre USA: Plays by African Americans 1847 to Today." Students will be evaluated on class participation, weekly reading responses, and two formal papers. Students will also be required to attend Wednesday evening screenings of video/film performances of (approximately) eight of the course's plays or to view these performances independently. Applicable English Clusters: American and African American Studies; Literature and Cultural Identity. May also be applied to the cluster on Plays, Playwrights, and Theater on an exceptional basis.
In this course we will examine, through selected 20th century works of American literature- novels, primarily, but also the occasional story- the notion of class in American society, and how different writers dealt with it as a theme. We will also look at the ways in which "class", in its fictional treatments, changed and developed over the course of the century. Works to be read and discussed will be selected from among the following: Dreiser's An American Tragedy, Wharton's The House of Mirth, Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, stories by John O'Hara and Hortense Calisher, Richard Yates' A Special Providence, James Salter's Light Years, Philip Roth's American Pastoral.
What is an author? This course begins with the premise that the answer to this question is anything but self-evident. How does the literary ideal of the author as solitary genius as sole creator of a unique, original work of art correspond to the actual practices of ordinary writers? And, for that matter, how does it correspond to the actual practice of even the great authors (Shakespeare, for example) it purportedly describes? Was such an ideal ever anything but a myth? What role do editors play in the practice of authorship? When does an editor count as a co-author? How do market factors and modes of publication affect what and how an author writes? How has our understanding of authorship changed in a world of virtual authors and virtual texts? How do we make sense of the journalistic scandals (involving authors, editors, and sources) that seem to have become so prevalent today? What happens when readers become authors, as in zines? For some time now, debates have raged, in both the academy and the popular media, about the nature and practice of authorship. Looking at examples drawn from both literature and journalism, this class will examine a number of sites of these debates: collaborative authorship; ghost writing; editorial theory and practice; forgeries and hoaxes; plagiarism; cult or celebrity authorship; pulp fiction, best-sellerdom, and popular authorship; authorial practices in media other than print (film, electronic and digital media, etc.); vanity presses and on-demand publishing; copyright law; readership and reception. Students will have the opportunity to do original research and pursue case studies of their own choosing. May be applied on an exception basis to the English cluster in Media, Culture and Communication.
How do we account for the fact that innocent people die untimely deaths due to circumstances beyond their control? This course will examine some compelling responses to that question in the form of canonical tragedies of the western tradition, ranging from Sophocles to Beckett. (We will read at least three plays by Shakespeare so that you may use this course to satisfy your pre-1800 requirement.) To help focus our discussions, we will also read what philosophers such as Aristotle, Hegel, Kirkegaard, and Nietzsche have had to say about tragedy and what it represents. We will approach the topic both as literary critics, studying the aesthetic strategies that enable plays to move audiences to grieve over fictional people, and as cultural critics, asking how and why "tragedy" mediates historical events such as 9/11 or Katrina. Course Requirements: class attendance, two papers, and two exams composed of textual identifications.
What can fiction tell us about the action of imagination? Who imagines what in the formative novels and stories of the 20th century? What can we learn from imaginative literature about the idiosyncratic workings of the mind, the expressive potential of language, the relevance of the unreal? These are some of the questions we’ll ask in this exploration of modern and contemporary international fiction. As we read fiction written in English and in translation, we’ll pay close attention to issues of cultural transmission and influence. Authors include Beckett, Duras, Woolf, Faulkner, Atwood, Garcia Marquez, Calvino, Sebald, and Saramago.
Despite being (mis)understood as the lowest and most infantile of genres, comic books have recently proven themselves capable of astonishing artistic achievements and of infiltrating both Hollywood and academia. This course has two parts: 1) a formal analysis of the art of comics--a combination of text and image used to tell a storyand its similarities to, and differences from, prose narrative and film; 2) a cultural history of comic books, from their modern origins during the Great Depression to World War II, the attacks on the genre in the 1950s, alternative comics, the British Invasion of the 1980s and 90s, the current state of the comics industry, and representations of race, gender and sexuality. Primary texts include (in part or whole) Ho Che Andersons King, Howard Cruses Stuck Rubber Baby, Neil Gaimans The Sandman, Jaime & Gilbert Hernandezs Love and Rockets, Alan Moore & David Gibbons Watchmen, Joe Saccos Palestine, Denny ONeil and Neal Adams Green Lantern/Green Arrow, Marjane Satrapis Persepolis, and more. Critical and historical sources include Scott McClouds Understanding Comics, essays by Samuel R. Delany, Irving Howe, Robert Warshow, C.L.R. James, Umberto Eco, and more. Course requirements include attendance, class participation, weekly 1-page reading responses, and two papers.
"Theater in England will be conducted in London from Saturday, December 29, 2007, through Saturday, January 12, 2008. Students should arrive in London no later than the evening of December 28. They may return on Sunday, January 13. We will see approximately 20 plays. We will not know what the full spate of plays for the coming year will be until next November, but you can be certain that we will be seeing the best that is available in the world's theater Mecca. Last year we saw, among others, such distinguished productions as Judi Dench and Simon Callow in Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor, Patrick Stewart and Harriet Walter in Antony and Cleopatra, Alan Bennett's award-winning The History Boys (2004); the Propellor all-male cast productions of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Taming of the Shrew, the world premiere's of Tom Stoppard's Rock 'n' Roll, Conor McPherson's The Sea Farer, Patrick Marber's brilliant Don Juan in Soho with Rhys Ifans, John Kolvenbach's Love Song with Neve Campbell, Charlotte Jones' The Lightning Play, and Frank McGuinness' There Came a Gypsy Riding, and the London premiere of Spamalot. We also saw several stunning revivals Neil LaBute's Bash, Tony Kushner's Caroline, or Change, David Hare's Amy's View with Felicity Kendall, the National Theater's thrilling production of Coram Boy, Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. We went to Stratford-upon-Avon to do homage to Shakespeare, with a stop-off at historic Warwick Castle. Many in the group went to services at Westminster Abbey and sat in the choir in the Queen's scholar's pews right beside the choir of Christ's Church, St. Lawrence, New Zealand, as they sang the Josef Reinbberger setting of Cantus Missae in E flat. I have no reason to believe that this coming year will be any less rich than this past season. You can go online to see what we have done in the previous fifteen years. But one thing is certain: We will be seeing a terrific lot of theater and get to know London like an old friend.
An introduction to the history, technology,and cultural significance of motion pictures of the pre-sound era, with screenings of 35mm prints accompanied by live music in the Dryden Theatre. Special attention will be paid to the major pioneers, Dickson, Porter, Lumiere, Melies, and Griffith, but the course will include a variety of internationally produced films selected from the world famous archival film collection of the George Eastman House. Discussion sessions will cover the origins and development of the motion picture industry and its leading genres up to the general introduction of movies with pre-recorded music, sound and dialog, beginning in 1927. Broad issues relating to the transformation of American and world popular entertainment forms and traditions, in relation to the established performing arts of the period, will also be covered. Relevant connections to preserving the worlds film heritage will be highlighted and the film restoration facilities of the Motion Picture Department will be visited in the course of the semester. Students will be expected to take a mid-term exam and write one paper. Meets at George Eastman House. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
The course will consider that large, unusual, and varied group of motion pictures known, for reasons of style and content, as film noir - dark films - which includes horror, gangster, detective, and crime movies. We will examine some of the history of the term and the kinds of movies it refers to, study some relevant primary and secondary sources, and of course, screen, analyze, and discuss a dozen or more motion pictures. Possible titles to study include "Murder, My Sweet", "Touch of Evil", "Gilda", "The Third Man", "Double Indemnity", "Night and the City". Aside from the films and the reading assignments, the course will require approximately three papers and a final examination. Although no particular expertise in film is necessary, students should be capable of writing clear, forceful, coherent analyses of narrative. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
This course explores significant movements and forms in the history of documentary film, including the social problem film, ethnographic film, and the direct cinema and cinéma vérité movements, in relation to more recent developments and trends including reality TV, mock documentary, and autobiographical film and video. We will screen and discuss works by filmmakers from different historical periods and national traditions, possibly including, but not limited to, Robert Flaherty, Dziga Vertov, Jean Rouch, Frederick Wiseman, Errol Morris, Michael Moore, Christopher Guest, Barbara Kopple, Cheryl Dunye, Werner Herzog, Su Friedrich, and Sadie Benning. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
Recently the large-scale dissemination of erotic and pornographic literature and film has begun to affect the majority of the population in the West. There are two main issues in the course:1) the history of the changing genres of erotica and the social changes taking place because of its wide dissemination; and 2) the proposition that if societies were different little harm and much good would come from the inclusion of erotica in peoples reading and viewing habits: erotic materials, by removing sex from the realm of the forbidden and viewing it as a species of everyday life, can contribute to the education of both sexes and people of all sexual tastes and preferences. Readings in the course will concentrate on classical, early modern, enlightenment, and contemporary erotica, with attention to the contemporary debates about pornography begun by the activism of MacKinnon and Dworkin. Of particular interest in this critique is the claim that erotic materials encourage the practice of violence against women and children, and help to promote a culture dependent on the use of force and violence. The course reviews the current debate on pornography and sexually explicit language as a context for viewing the history of the more familiar erotic materials from classical times, to the Renaissance and 18th century, to D.H.Lawrence, and Erica Jong. Film showings Thursday evenings 7-10.
This course investigates technical theater beyond the realms of Eng 170 (Technical Theatre). It focuses on work related to the scenic design and technicial production of the two Fall Theatre Program productions. Working in small seminars and one-on-one tutorials,the instructor will assist students in learning more in the chosen technical areas and about problem solving scenic and technical questions raisted by the set/s being built. Course work will consist of supervisory responsibilities, one major and several smaller research projects.
The course emphasizes the development of each student's individual style and imagination, as well as developing specific areas of craft. Students will be asked to concentrate particularly on the question of voice- what it means, how it's constructed, how much a story depends on it- and to apply these questions to their own writing. We will be reading a number of published stories to discuss how other writers have dealt with the question. Three short stories or novel chapters will be required. Applicable English Cluster: Creative Writing.
"Presidential Rhetoric", taught by former Presidential speechwriter Curt Smith, helps students critically examine the public rhetoric and themes of the modern American presidency. Particular attention will be given to the symbolic nature of the office, focusing on the ability of 20th-century presidents to communicate via a variety of forums, including the press conference, inaugural and acceptance speeches, political speech, and prime-time television address. Mr. Smith will draw on many of his experiences in Washington and with ESPN/ABC Television to link the most powerful office in the world and today's dominant medium. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
his course will introduce students to the theoretical backgrounds, practical challenges, and creative activity of literary translation. We will survey appropriate theories of language and communication including semiotics, post-structuralism, pragmatics, discourse analysis, and cognitive linguistics. We will consider varied and conflicting descriptions by translators of what it is they believe they are doing and what they hope to accomplish by doing it; and we will study specific translations into English from a variety of sources in order to investigate the strategies and choices translators make and the implication of those choices for our developing sense of what kinds of texts translations actually are. Finally, students will, in consultation with the instructor or with another qualified faculty member, undertake exercises in translation of their own. By the end of this class each student should have a working knowledge of both the critical backgrounds and the artistic potentials of translation.
Each student in Plays in Production participates fully in the exciting behind-the-scenes world of theatrical production. Students build sets, create and make props and costumes, hang and rig lighting and sound equipment, and create and distribute publicity materials for the plays currently in production in Todd Theatre. The class comprises a once-weekly lecture and a series of practical labs. This 4.0-credit course meets for the entire semester. Applicable English Cluster: Plays, Playwrights, and Theater.
Plays in Performance is a class made up of actors and stage managers working on the current production in Todd Theatre. Actors are cast after auditioning at the beginning of each semester. Students wishing to stage manage should approach the director of the production either at the time of auditions or before the beginning of the play's rehearsal process. Although there is no written component for this course (the performance of the play constitutes a final "exam"), a significant time commitment is required of actors and stage managers, both on weekday nights and over weekends. This class meets during the first half of the semester. Permission of instructor required. Applicable English Cluster: Plays, Playwrights, and Theater.
1.0 credit/Pass-Fail. This class is a lab tutorial for actors cast in productions in Todd Theatre. Working one-on-one with an acting and voice coach, students tackle specific technical challenges raised by their involvement in the specific theatrical work in production.
This is an independently designed course, focusing on specific theatre or theatre-related projects, and demanding significant skill application or acquisition, independent and self-motivated research, including advanced written work, if appropriate. Topics may include elements of theatre related to production, management and/or design.
Research seminar. How does an American become an American? How do new immigrants adjust to life in the United States while still maintaining ties to their countries of origin? In this class, we will study contemporary autobiographies that describe experiences of immigration and assimilation into American life. What is the relationship between the immigrant and his or her home country and culture? What does it mean to become an American? We will study how immigration affects changes in language, culture, values and social relationships, and also consider how certain narrative conventions and innovations are employed to describe experiences of Americanization and alienation from the family homeland. Our exploration of these issues begins with a reading of Benjamin Franklin's autobiography, a canonical narrative of self-development that offers an important point of contrast to texts written by later American immigrants. Students will also read historical and sociological articles that provide background and analysis to the personal experiences described in the autobiographies. Writing assignments will include a variety of explorations into issues concerning immigration and Americanization and will involve working with a diverse set of research strategies in American literature, topic to be announced.
RESEARCH SEMINAR. This seminar stipulates the following issues as underlying problems of Western civilization: pederasty, slavery, censorship, heresy, witch-hunting, androcentrism and misogyny, violence against children, and war. It studies literary treatments of these issues as well as some nonliterary texts. Emphasis is on how literature (and our responses to it) dealing with these problems reaches forms of understanding that are distinct from those given by critical and historical accounts. The seminar addresses how the different problems overlap and continue in contemporary societies. We will ask how they are rationalized and treated as normal or as strange aberrations, though rarely as practices that constitute civilization. The seminar proceeds by alternating the literary and nonliterary treatment of each subject. Modern readings come from Virginia Woolf's Three Guineas, Kafka, Morrison, Ibsen, Dostoevsky, and Freud's commentaries on the problems of civilization. Classical readings can include: Plato's Symposium and Republic, Aristotle's biology, Aristophanes' Lysistrata, Course members will present research proposals related to one or more of the stipulated problems.
This course is a literary, historical, and philosophical examination of language creation and distortion throughout western literature. Alexarchus of Sparta, Aristophanes, Plato's Cratylus, Augustine's De Magistro give theories and evidence of early attitudes towards linguistic novelty. The negative philosophers in the school of Pseudo-Dionysius, Hildegard of Bingen's Lingua Ignota, Dante's gibberish in The Inferno, some of the Old English charms, Philip's "angelic language" in the 15th-century Tenga Bithnua, Trithemius' Steganographia, the Pistis Sophia, and other gnostic and apocryphal texts show the spiritual and demonic experiments with language in the Middle Ages. Balaibalan, the indecipherable Voynich manuscript, Thomas More's Utopian, John Dee's "language of the angels" and the Philosophical Language Movement present us with linguistic experiments in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; then we have the charlatans and the mediums in Psalmanazar, Princess Caraboo, and Hélène Smith in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and a host of fictional languages in the twentieth and twenty-first, with an emphasis on Tolkien and the on-line CONLANG inventors. My goal in this course would be to interrogate the spiritual, artistic, and psychological motivations behind creating esoteric language and private languages (we will look as well at Wittgenstein). Almost all of these inventions include an alternate world and an emphasis on exotica.
The University of Rochester International Theatre Programs PR Internship provides interested students with an introduction to all aspects of Marketing and Public Relations, from writing press releases, to scheduling photo shoots, to creating advertising banners, to developing marketing campaigns for those theatrical events in Todd Theatre. Additionally, PR interns work Front-of-House/Box Office and are responsible for the public face of the Program with regard to other university events (Alumni and Homecoming weekends/Meliora Weekend, etc.) PR Interns report weekly to the Artistic Director of the Theatre Program.