R1B: Irish Drama in a Comparative Context
Session D (July 3- August 11)
This course satisfies the second half or the “B” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement for the Bachelor’s Degree. Courses taken to fulfill this requirement must be taken for a letter grade.
The primary focus of this course is the improvement of your writing. Since R1B is an intensive college writing course, issues of development and style are presented at an advanced level. Further, students are to receive attention to their writing through detailed comments on their essays and through discussion in class and during office hours.
Your writing for this course will analyze and interpret significant dramatic texts from modern Ireland. Drama itself is a subject of this course. The development of Irish and Greek drama (each within a single century) opens performance to our own critical thinking. Some subjects include defiance of authoritarian order (Sophocles, Heaney, Paulin); language and culture (Friel, Euripides, Sophocles); gender (Sophocles, Euripides, Synge, McCartney); social upheaval (Euripides, O’Casey, Weiss). To that end we will read Irish dramatic texts alongside some Greek tragedies. Besides these issues we will consider 1.) the development of Irish drama in its historical context; 2.) the place of Irish drama as a response to Greek drama; and 3.) the dramatic artistry of the plays themselves; the inherently political nature of dramatic artistry. This course looks at these dramas from the perspective of comparative literature.
There will be 4-5 short papers, with drafts, and a final research project to introduce you to the UCB library resources.
Diane Hacker and Nancy Sommers. A Pocket Style Manual. 6th ed. Bedford/St. Martins. ISBN-10: 0-312-542542.
John P. Harrington, ed. Modern Irish Drama (Norton Critical Editions). 2nd ed. New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2008. ISBN-978-0-393-93243-0.
Seamus Heaney. The Burial at Thebes: A Version of Sophocles’ Antigone. New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2004. ISBN-10: 0-374-11721-7.
—–The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles’ Philoctetes. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1991. ISBN 0-374-52289-8.
Kearney, Eileen and Charlotte Headrick, edd. Irish Women Dramatists: 1908-2001. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2014. ISBN 978-0-8156-3375-4
Weiss, Peter. The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates at the Asylum of Charenton under the direction of the Marquis de Sade. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press. ISBN-10: 1577662318
COURSE-READER: Prepared by the instructor, this text will be available during the first week of classes.
NOTE: Only the above editions and translations will be used in this course. Other editions and translations are not acceptable.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of the “A” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement or its equivalent. Students may not enroll nor attend R1B/R5B courses without completing this prerequisite.