Universität Wien FIND

127010 KO Critical Readings in Literature (2019W)

"Staging a Closet Drama"

6.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Details

max. 30 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday 10.10. 16:45 - 21:45 Elise Richter-Saal Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 1
Thursday 17.10. 16:45 - 21:45 Elise Richter-Saal Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 1
Thursday 24.10. 16:45 - 21:45 Elise Richter-Saal Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 1
Thursday 31.10. 16:45 - 21:45 Elise Richter-Saal Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 1
Thursday 07.11. 16:45 - 21:45 Elise Richter-Saal Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 1
Thursday 14.11. 16:45 - 21:45 Elise Richter-Saal Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 1
Thursday 28.11. 16:45 - 21:45 Elise Richter-Saal Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 1
Thursday 05.12. 16:45 - 21:45 Elise Richter-Saal Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 1
Thursday 12.12. 16:45 - 21:45 Elise Richter-Saal Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 1
Thursday 09.01. 16:45 - 21:45 Elise Richter-Saal Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 1
Friday 10.01. 18:30 - 21:45 Hörsaal A UniCampus Zugang Hof 2 2F-EG-32
Monday 13.01. 18:30 - 21:45 Hörsaal D Unicampus Hof 10 Hirnforschungzentrum Spitalgasse 4
Tuesday 14.01. 18:30 - 21:45 Hörsaal A UniCampus Zugang Hof 2 2F-EG-32
Wednesday 15.01. 18:30 - 21:45 Hörsaal A UniCampus Zugang Hof 2 2F-EG-32
Thursday 16.01. 16:45 - 21:45 Elise Richter-Saal Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 1
Thursday 16.01. 18:15 - 21:45 Hörsaal A UniCampus Zugang Hof 2 2F-EG-32
Friday 17.01. 16:45 - 21:45 Hörsaal A UniCampus Zugang Hof 2 2F-EG-32
Saturday 18.01. 16:45 - 21:45 Hörsaal A UniCampus Zugang Hof 2 2F-EG-32
Thursday 23.01. 16:45 - 21:45 Elise Richter-Saal Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 1
Thursday 30.01. 16:45 - 21:45 Elise Richter-Saal Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 1

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

This course is held in collaboration with the English Department’s acting society SASS. The aim of this course is to produce a theatre performance, which will also be filmed. There will be no written or oral exam and no term paper. Instead, students are expected to invest a considerable amount of time (and energy) in collaborative creative work. They will either be part of the cast, work on the script, create props and scenery, produce advertising material, or take on one of many other jobs involved in going from text to stage. They should be prepared to meet and work independently in groups outside of class.

NB: Classes will start 4.45 pm and regularly end 6.15 pm, the remainder of the time slot is reserved for group work and rehearsals. Also, the extra dates in January (those not in Elise Richter-Saal) are dress rehearsals, premiere and derniere.

This course will familiarise students with stage production, literary drama theory in general, the generic specificity of the closet drama, the cultural and political role it played in early-modern England before, during, and after the Civil Wars, and the special role it has played for women writers at the time.

Already before the 1642 closure of London theatres, closet drama was popular with female authors for the privacy and simultaneous freedom it allowed them. Closet plays were read aloud in groups and their composition was unfettered by the restrictions of the early-modern stage and theatrical conventions. Performing a play that was never intended for performance requires actors and directors to fill gaps where the text is unspecified and to come up with alternatives where the text proves to be unstageable.

We will be producing Margaret Cavendish’s The Unnatural Tragedy (1662). Like her other plays, this text explores possibilities for female agency and tests the ‘naturalness’ of existing gender relations. But instead of focussing mainly on the the public sphere i.e. social roles, education, and stereotypes, in The Unnatural Tragedy Cavendish also deals explicitly with questions of sexual and marital relations among individuals: incest, rape, abusive and adulterous partners. In its shocking plot, which it partly borrows from John Ford’s 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (1633), this play engages with fundamental philosophical questions about the nature of humankind—an implicit answer to Thomas Hobbes that, if anything, shows that the division between ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’ desires or states is nebulous and contingent. Making sense of the issues raised by Cavendish, both, in their relation to the world of her seventeenth-century readership, and in their relation to the world of our twenty-first-century audience, will be the initial challenge we face in this course.

Assessment and permitted materials

Prior to enrolling for this course, students are asked to ensure that the dates provided suit their schedules (especially 17 and 18 January, the dates of the two performances!), since active participation will be responsible for the main part of their grades.

There will be compulsory readings for individual sessions and students are encouraged to refresh their knowledge of drama theory already before the course starts.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

50 % Active participation
25 % Contribution to performance
25 % Group work

Points must be collected in all of these categories. Students must attain at least 60% to pass this course.

Marking as follows:
90-100 % 1 (very good)
80-89 % 2 (good)
70-79 % 3 (satisfactory)
60-69 % 4 (pass)
00-59 % 5 (fail)

No more than two lessons may be missed without medical statement. Missing more than three lessons will result in failing the class.

Examination topics

Drama theory; Early-modern cultural history; Texts provided on Moodle

Students will have to show in class that they are familiar with the primary and secondary texts provided by the lecturer, and that they are able to make use of appropriate theoretical concepts (drama theory), when dealing with these texts.
There will be no written exam.

Reading list

Cavendish, Margaret. The Unnatural Tragedy (1662)

Further related primary texts and additional secondary material will be available on Moodle.

Association in the course directory

Studium: BA 612; BEd 046/407
Code/Modul: BA08.3; BEd Modul 10
Lehrinhalt: 12-3000

Last modified: Mo 23.09.2019 05:08