ENGL 364
Boucicault to McDonagh: Irish Theatre, 1870 to the present Fall 2023
Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed COMP 360 / THEA 336

Class Details

During the Irish Literary Revival of c.1885-1920, Irish writers sought to assert “Irishness” as culturally distinctive, and resisted the marginalizing impacts of British colonial rule. The achievement of Independence in 1923 brought years of insularity and censorship, but over the past three decades Ireland’s embrace of globalization and the hybridizing impacts of postmodernism has led to a remarkable flowering of creative vitality. This course will trace the evolution of Irish theatre over the past century-and-a-half. We will read plays by Dion Boucicault, Oscar Wilde, W.B.Yeats, J.M.Synge, Augusta Gregory, George Bernard Shaw, Douglas Hyde, Sean O’Casey, Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan, Brian Friel, Marina Carr, Frank McGuinness, Christina Reid, Conor McPherson, and Martin McDonagh, and also chart the course of the founding and history of the Abbey Theatre, one of first National Theatres in Europe.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1652
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Two essays of 6+ pages; regular Glow posts; class participation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Theatre majors, English and Comparative Literature majors
Distributions: Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 360 Division I ENGL 364 Division I THEA 336 Division I
DPE Notes: This course is centrally concerned with identity politics within a colonial context. Irish writers prior to independence from Britain sought to assert "Irishness" as culturally distinctive. After 1923, they continued to wrestle with the legacies of colonial subjection and the inferiorizing identifications that had been ingrained during colonial rule. The texts we will read centre on questions of cultural self-definition and explore (and resist) the process of othering.

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