RCIDIV 351 - Special Topics
Section: 001 Darwin in Performance
Term: FA 2009
Subject: RC Interdivisional (RCIDIV)
Department: LSA Residential College
Mandatory credit/no credit.
May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

This interdisciplinary course focuses on Charles Darwin, his theory of evolution and its implications for society from Darwin’s time to our time. In recognition of the 2009 Darwin bicentennial year, the goal of this course is to present an original play (by C. Badgley) about Darwin that will be staged in the Exhibit Museum of Natural History in November. The play focuses on the week in 1859 when Darwin was finishing the last chapter of his most famous work On the Origin of Species; Darwin has three dreams about the future uses and misuses of his ideas. Students will have the major roles in the production of the play and prepare an informative program for the audience. Badgley will teach the scientific and historical information about Darwin as it relates to the play, and Mendeloff will teach character development and direct the play.

Through readings, lectures, and discussion, students will learn about Darwin, evolution, Victorian society, and the social impacts of evolution over the last 150 years and continuing to the present time. This subject matter will be the basis for developing the major characters and controversies presented in the play. Readings will be drawn from the writings of Darwin and his contemporaries and recent biographies of Darwin and his time. The course text is Darwin, His Daughter, and Human Evolution by Randal Keynes. Students will be required to write two short papers (3-4 pages) and contribute to the production of the play and the program. The talents of actors, set designers, and videographers are needed, as are students with concentrations in literature, drama, history, or the sciences. A strong commitment to participation is required. Admission to the course is by interview.
Expected costs: about $30 in texts. For more information, please contact Kate Mendeloff (mendelof@umich.edu) or Catherine Badgley (cbadgley@umich.edu).

RCIDIV 351 - Special Topics
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 3:00PM - 5:00PM
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