LITR271 Introduction to Drama

Department of Language & Literature: Literature

I. Course Number and Title
LITR271 Introduction to Drama
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
V. Other Pertinent Information

The Department of Language and Literature has determined that all literature courses must require a minimum of 2500 words in writing assignments.

During the first week of class, the instructor provides students with a weekly suggested reading schedule for the semester.

This course meets the Arts/Humanities, Critical Thinking, and Diversity General Education requirements.

VI. Catalog Course Description
This course examines drama from Greek theater to plays by current playwrights. Readings include work from diverse cultural contexts, including, for example, plays by women, African Americans, other minorities, and non-Western playwrights. The emphasis is on play construction, dialogue, staging, themes and cultural values, symbols and motifs, and character development.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will:

    1. analyze literature through discussion and writing [Critical Thinking];
    2. demonstrate an understanding of such literary terms, themes, strategies, and issues as are relevant to the works being studied;
    3. articulate their understanding of the relationship between literature and the historical/cultural contexts in which it was written;
    4. read and analyze plays of various periods and representing various points of view, including gender, ethnic identity, and different cultures [Diversity]; and
    5. identify the elements of drama, such as form and scenic contrast, symbol and myth, music/dance, theme and message, language and dialogue, staging and performance, character and conflict [Arts/Humanities].
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    This course provides a general introduction to a wide range of dramatic literature. The course covers the history of drama from antiquity to the present; it includes significant periods or movements (e.g., Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance, Modern and Contemporary, Absurd Theater, etc.). The course demands disciplined examination of the anatomy of dramatic literature, broadly defined to include a wide range of theatrical experiences, including non-Western plays and plays by women and minority playwrights.

    In addition:

    1. Students enter the course both with and without training in verbal or written analysis of literature; therefore, a subsidiary set of objectives dealing with literary analysis may be imported as individual student needs dictate.
    2. Reading remains the basic learning method available to students although various means of instruction are employed: Lectures, group discussion, mock trials, role playing, individual or group presentations to the class, media presentations, team teaching, library research, etc.
    3. Through reading, writing, discussion, and various class activities, students identify, explain, and analyze the following: formal elements of the literature, particularly images, image patterns, narrative strategies, diction, and structural divisions of the work; themes and thematic patterns; literary periods, movements, and terms as appropriate to the literature.
    4. The writing requirement complies with Department standards for literature courses, a minimum of 2500 words. Writing assignments reflect the course goals that students can comprehend, interpret,
    5. Students use various critical frameworks for the analysis of literature (e.g., New Criticism, feminist, Marxist, queer theory, and (post)structural approaches).
    6. In this disciplinary context, the Department of Language and Literature views "Diversity" as concerning identity factors such as gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, race, ethnicity, social and economic class, and nationality. This list is neither prescriptive nor exhaustive; individual instructors are encouraged to consider how such identity factors bear upon the content of their courses.
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    To evaluate all learning goals and objectives, instructors may determine the depth and quality of student comprehension and critical thinking through several analytical essays (2500 words total required), exams, quizzes, journals, oral or multi-media presentations, class discussions, conferences with individual students, service learning projects, and other methods as appropriate to course content.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    Instructors may choose an appropriate anthology or individual texts. While readings are at the instructor's discretion, selections include representative works from both tragedy and comedy and span the history of dramatic literature from the Classical period to the present. See course syllabus.

Review/Approval Date - 3/99; Goals/Objectives added 4/04; Revised 5/2010; New Core 8/2015