Fall 2017: Celtic Studies R1B, Section 1

Reading & Composition: Voices of the Celtic World: Irish Drama in a Comparative Context

4 units
87 Dwinelle
MWF 1-2
Thomas Walsh

This course satisfies the second half or the “B” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement for the Bachelor’s Degree.

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 and poetic texts from Ireland and Greece. The reason for this pairing has to do with the Irish dramatists’ engagement with material from ancient Greece, as well as with singular place of Greek drama in the universe of theatrical performance. Thus, we will read Irish dramatic texts alongside some Greek tragedies in order to explore and come to terms with how dramatic literature works. Of importance to our reading are: 1.) the development of Irish drama in its historical context; 2.) The development of Greek drama; 3.) the place of Irish drama as a response to Greek drama; and 4.) the dramatic artistry of the plays themselves. Of special interest to our reading will be the way that varieties of performance can be read out of a single script.

Our topics will include: politics, education, selfhood, lying, and representation.

Your work in 1B includes a library research project developed during the term with the assistance of UC librarians. This project will be the “capstone” to your essays on the plays that we will read.

Required Texts:
Diane Hacker and Nancy Sommers. A Pocket Style Manual. 7th 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. 10: 0-374-11721-7.

—–. The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles’ Philoctetes. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1991. ISBN  -374-52289-8.

Slavitt, D. (ed.) Aristophanes 3: Suits, Clouds, Birds. Philadelphia:  University  of Pennsylvania Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780812216981

COURSE-READER:  Material will be posted on b-Courses as well as in handouts distributed in class. Please discuss any problems in acquiring the texts with the instructor.

PLEASE NOTE: Only the above editions and translations will be used in this course. Other editions and translations are not acceptable.

Student Work and Assessment: There will be approximately 25-30 pages of formal writing including drafts, abstracts, and proposals. Due dates to be scheduled.

Grading: A formal grading rubric will be handed out early in the term.  The overall grade for the course includes participation, attendance,  research presentation, etc. Your overall grade will not be lower than the average of your writing grades.

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of the “A” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement or its equivalent.  Students may not enroll or attend R1B/R5B courses without completing this prerequisite.