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. Minimum Number of Instructional Minutes Per Semester
2250
IV. Prerequisites
None
Corequisites
None
V. Other Pertinent Information
  • The Department of Language and Literature has determined that all literature courses must require a minimum of at least 2500 words in writing assignments.
  • During the first week of class, the instructor provides students with a weekly suggested reading schedule for the semester.
VI. Catalog Course Description
This course examines drama from Greek theater to plays by current 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. Learning Goals:

    1. Course
    2. Students will
      1. analyze literature through discussion and writing;
      2. demonstrate an understanding of such literary terms, themes, strategies, and issues as are relevant to the works being studied;
      3. express 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;
      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; and
      6. develop an appreciation for the thematic and stylistic variations among playwrights and the cultural basis for a playwright’s vision.

    3. Core (if applicable)
    4. Category I
      Cultural Perspectives
      Students will
      1. demonstrate knowledge and awareness of some components of our society’s cultural heritage such as artistic, historical, linguistic, literary, and philosophical foundations;
      2. compare, contrast, analyze, and/or defend differing world views and practices;
      3. demonstrate the ability to think independently by reading critically, thinking analytically, and communicating effectively in oral and/or written formats within the context of studying diversity in our culture.

      Category III
      Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
      Students will
      1. understand and express the meaning and significance of a variety of communications (Interpretation);
      1. identify the explicit and implied features of a communication, especially in arguments that put forth a conclusion. (Analysis skills);
      2. integrate and/or combine knowledge from multiple sources to create new knowledge. (Synthesis);
      3. reason from what they know to form new knowledge, draw conclusions, solve problems, explain, decide, and/or predict. (Inductive and/or Deductive Reasoning Skills);
      1. communicate and justify clearly the results of their reasoning. (Presenting Arguments Skills).

      International, Gender, and/or Minority Perspectives
      Students will
      1. identify prejudice, stereotypes, and misuses of power that affect the lives of women and/or minorities in areas such as education, business, politics, religion, or industry.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities:

    This course provides a general introduction to a wide range of dramatic literature. The instructor may choose an ideological, generic, or critical focus. The course will cover the history of drama from the antiquity to the present; it includes significant periods or movements (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 experience, Eastern and Western, male and female, traditional and avant-garde.
    In addition:
    1. Students enter the course both with and without training in verbal 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, 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 2,500 words. Writing assignments reflect the course goals that students can comprehend, interpret, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the literature.
    5. Because there are no prerequisites for literature courses, it is important that students understand the kind and quality of the writing expected.
    6. Students use various critical approaches as ways of assigning the meanings in the work; these include but are not limited to the major critical schools—humanistic, ethical, socio-cultural, historical (both the history of events and the history of ideas), psychological, mythical, and formal.
  3. Assessment Methods for Core Learning Goals:

    1. Course
    2. To evaluate all course-specific 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 necessary to course content.

    3. Core (if applicable)
    4. To evaluate all Core 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 necessary to course content.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Students:

    Instructor 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 through to at least the 20th century.
    See individual course formats.
VIII. Teaching Methods Employed
Section VIII is not being used in new and revised syllabi as of 12/10/08.

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