ENGLISH 492 - Special Topics in Language and Literature
Winter 2022, Section 001 - Staging America in Six Plays
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Partial Term 1/5/22 - 2/22/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


This 2-credit mini-course will examine the dynamic role the America theater plays in any healthy discussion a democratic society needs to have about itself. In order to do so, we will take a close look at six landmark plays that have established new conventions and new paradigms that continue to inspire a new generation of playwrights as they keep the conversation going into the present. Our focus will be on Death of a Salesman (Arthur Miller), A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams), A Raisin in the Sun (Lorraine Hansberrry), True West (Sam Shepard), Angels in America, parts 1 and 2 (Tony Kushner), and Sweat (Lynn Nottage). We will make use of the video collection in Asquith in the Shapiro Library to develop our sense of how these plays have worked in selected productions based on the texts we will read. 

Course Requirements:

Class attendance is a requirement for this course. Students will work on a final project by submitting an essay examining how other playwrights have contributed to the issues fundamental to our class discussion. They will be asked to select one of the following works on which to center their commentary: Disgraced (Ayad Akhtar), Slave Play (Jeremy O. Harris), Pocatello (Samuel D. Hunter), or 4000 Miles (Amy Herzog).


ENGLISH 492 - Special Topics in Language and Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Partial Term 1/5/22 - 2/22/22
Note: Meets 01/05/2022-02/22/2022 (Drop/Add Deadline: 01/18/22)

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