ENGLISH 293 - Great Works
Winter 2023, Section 001 - The Theatre of Suzan-Lori Parks
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be repeated for a maximum of 4 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/4/23 - 4/18/23 (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.


CHECK IT OUT - Video Course Description!

Suzan-Lori Parks is among the most important American playwrights of our time. She is most famous for being the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, in 2002 for her play Topdog/Underdog (which is being revived on Broadway as I type this), but her accomplishments exceed her many recognitions. Her plays span theatrical forms: From avant-garde plays that are more like jazz poems, to realist plays and historical dramas, to microdramas (which last only a few minutes), to fantastical reworkings of American classics. She fills these forms with courageous examinations of racial injustice, misogyny and patriarchy, poverty and class warfare, the legacies of colonialism and slavery, the horror of war and militarism, and—her overriding theme—the weight of history on our complicated present.

In this mini-course we will read the full corpus of Parks’s major dramatic output to date, moving chronologically from her early experimental work in the 1980s to her most recent plays. These dramas are playful and fun; they are intense and deal with serious subject matter. They are entirely relatable; they’re like nothing you’ve ever read.

No prior experience in theatre and performance is necessary, but an open mind and a willingness to read material that is sometimes difficult (in every sense of the word) is expected. Class meetings will be a combination of lecture and discussion. You will write short analytical papers, and you will engage in a final project that will be creative.


ENGLISH 293 - Great Works
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
1/4/23 - 4/18/23
002 (LEC)
Partial Term 1/4/23 - 2/21/23

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