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Lorraine and Tom Pangle, Co-Directors BAT 2.116, C4100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-6648

Elon Lang

Lecturer PhD, Washington University in St. Louis

Contact

Biography

Dr. Elon Lang (Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis) is interested in the intersection between the study of manuscripts and book production and the study of medieval reading and performance. His research is currently focused on Thomas Hoccleve, fifteenth-century English poet, whose works demonstrate the kind of "poetics of reading" that forms at such an intersection owing to their survival in Hoccleve's own handwriting - a unique circumstance for a medieval writer. Dr. Lang is editing a digital archive of material for the study of Hoccleve's texts that will be part of the Texas Digital Library and is working to transform his dissertation into journal articles on Hoccleve.  He is currently slated to teach literature topics classes and researched-writing for both Liberal Arts Honors and Core Texts this year. He'll be emphasizing drama in the fall with his custom-designed LAH 350 "Drama Queens" and a CTI 350 "Masterworks of World Drama" course, which he is subtitling "In Pursuit of Justice." In the Spring, he'll be teaching a class in CTI called "Satan and the Idea of Evil," which will survey the literary history of the Devil in the Bible, medieval Mystery Plays, and in works by Milton, Blake, Mark Twain, C.S. Lewis, and others. His goal is to offer UT students opportunities to explore how literary study can illuminate our society's persistent questions about the nature of our core cultural values and assumptions.

CTI 345 • Satan And The Idea Of Evil

33355 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 302
(also listed as R S 357 )
show description

Satan and the Idea of Evil CTI 345, Spring 2014 Instructor: Dr. Elon Lang

Course Description: Since antiquity, writers have attempted to understand and define the idea of evil by giving it a voice. From the perspective of the Devil, some of the world's greatest creative thinkers have sought to challenge the intellectual resolve and rigor of their faiths while encouraging their characters and audiences to query the strength and doctrine of their own beliefs. As a result, through temptation narratives, morality dramas, cultural satires, and Faustian dilemmas, explorations of “the Adversary” have yielded some of the most compelling stories and characters ever imagined. In this course students will become familiar with the history and breadth of Satan’s role as a character (or merely background presence) in literature while developing close-reading techniques for literary analysis that can be applied across diverse eras, forms, and genres. Students will be asked to strengthen their critical reading and writing skills and to consider how our class topic can help illuminate aspects of our present-day culture and its history. Students will also attend a performance of the contemporary play, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, by the National Theater of Scotland and participate in a public question and answer session with the actors.

 

Required readings will be drawn from several periods of English and American literature and European literature in translation. Specifically, texts will include selections from:

 

The Bible

Virgil’s Aeneid

Medieval English poetry, drama, and mystical writing

Dante's Inferno

Marlowe's Dr. Faustus

Goethe’s Faust

Milton's Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained

William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Charles Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal

James Hogg’s Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

Mark Twain's No. 44—The Mysterious Stranger

C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters

Glen Duncan’s I, Lucifer

David Grieg’s The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

 

Students' final projects may involve the analysis of another modern novel, the development of a creative exploration of Satan’s nature, or a detailed comparative analysis of themes across several texts in our class.

 

Assignments and their weights*:

Class-participation, attendance, response papers, and online discussions (20%)

1 long final paper or creative project (20%)

4 short essays plus at least 1 revision (60%)

 

*Grading Policy: participation assignments and essay drafts are graded on the basis of completion, revision grades replace original grades when applicable, and essays are assigned point values based on their relative weight in the overall course total (e.g. for a short essay worth 15% of the final grade, an “A” essay will receive either 14 or 15 points, a “B” will receive either 12 or 13, etc.). 100 total points are possible for the course.

CTI 350 • Masterworks Of World Drama

34215 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm WEL 3.266
show description

 

Course Description and Objectives:

 

In our media-saturated culture, we encounter drama everyday on the various screens we watch as we live our modern lives. Although these shows and films may seem far removed from the theatrical stage, when we watch these dramas we are participating in a phenomenon that has been a principle means by which Western culture has described and perpetuated itself for over 2,500 years.

 

In this course we will focus our investigation of drama upon a perennial subject of the dramatic arts: the nature and pursuit of justice. We will seek to examine how different playwrights from different eras of Western literature have balanced elements like mercy, vengeance, fairness, due process, authority, altruism, noble character, prejudice, public opinion, and public service in their definitions of justice. Students will consider whether the dramas in selected ancient, Renaissance, and modern plays present idealistic, realistic, or polemical portrayals of how “justice is served.” We will discuss whether these dramas critique or celebrate the courts and other means society uses to define justice, to defend it, and to enforce laws and codes of conduct. We will bookend the semester by examining the way justice is portrayed being served by the American criminal justice system in contemporary pop-culture dramas (e.g. Law and Order) and the way drama instruction is used in some American prisons to facilitate rehabilitation among inmates.

 

Since no single course can exhaustively cover the subject of “dramatic masterworks in the Western tradition,” we will emphasize two major goals: (1) to develop critical and analytical skills that can be applied to all forms of literary art, (2) to broaden an understanding of drama’s civic value that can be gained from teaching and studying the classics or using drama as a pedagogical tool. To this end, course requirements will include close reading and in-class discussion of plays, light exploration of philosophies of justice, informal acting, written analysis, and the option to develop your own lesson plans.

 

Possible readings and video studies will include selections from:

 

Aeschylus, The Oresteia

Aristotle, Poetics and Nichomachean Ethics

Sophocles, Oedipus the King

Euripedes, Herakles

The York Mystery Plays

Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure, Merchant of Venice, The Tempest

Henrik Ibsen, Pillars of the Community

Arthur Miller, The Crucible

Reginald Rose, Twelve Angry Men

David Mamet, Oleanna

Law and Order

Shakespeare Behind Bars

 

 

Course Requirements and Evaluation:

 

Participation, Preparation, Punctuality                                                10 pts. 

Regular class attendance and adherence to the policy in the syllabus, careful preparation of the readings, timely submission of all written work, and active participation in class discussions and activities.

Written Assignments                                                               50 pts.

Four essays of various lengths will be assigned totaling 15-20 pages, the second and fourth of these will be revised, expanded, and resubmitted after receiving feedback from both peers and the instructor.

Dramatic Reading                                                                     10 pts.

In small groups, students will meet with the instructor to select a section of dialogue from a text being covered during their assigned week. Each group will practice their dialogue outside class and present it dramatically in an out-of-class meeting with the instructor.

Exams                                                                                      30 pts. (15 pts. midterm, 15 pts. final)

The primary focus of both exams will be to assess students’ intellectual engagement with the texts (i.e. understanding of key concepts, synthesis of ideas based upon close reading of the text, etc.). Exams will also assess thoroughness of reading, retention of reading, and engagement with lecture content and class discussions.

 

Your total score for the class will then be calculated as a percentage of 100 points possible, and placed on a standard letter grading scale: A=93+, A-=90-92, B+=87-89, B=83-86, B-=80-82, C+=77-79, C=73-76, C-70-72, D+=67-69, D=63-66, D-=60-62, F=59 points or fewer.

 

Flags:

 

Writing

Ethics and Leadership

CTI 345 • Satan And The Idea Of Evil

34585 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 302
(also listed as R S 357 )
show description

Course Description: Since antiquity, writers have attempted to understand and define the idea of evil by giving it a voice. From the perspective of the Devil, some of the world's greatest creative thinkers have sought to challenge the intellectual resolve and rigor of their faiths while encouraging their characters and audiences to query the strength and doctrine of their own beliefs. As a result, through temptation narratives, morality dramas, cultural satires, and Faustian dilemmas, explorations of “the Adversary” have yielded some of the most compelling stories and characters ever imagined. In this course students will become familiar with the history and breadth of Satan’s role as a character (or merely background presence) in literature while developing close-reading techniques for literary analysis that can be applied across diverse eras, forms, and genres. Students will be asked to strengthen their critical reading and writing skills and to consider how our class topic can help illuminate aspects of our present-day culture and its history. Students will also attend a performance of the contemporary play, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, by the National Theater of Scotland and participate in a public question and answer session with the actors.

 

Required readings will be drawn from several periods of English and American literature and European literature in translation. Specifically, texts will include selections from:

 

The Bible

Virgil’s Aeneid

Medieval English poetry, drama, and mystical writing

Dante's Inferno

Marlowe's Dr. Faustus

Goethe’s Faust

Milton's Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained

William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Charles Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal

James Hogg’s Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

Mark Twain's No. 44—The Mysterious Stranger

C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters

Glen Duncan’s I, Lucifer

David Grieg’s The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

 

Students' final projects may involve the analysis of another modern novel, the development of a creative exploration of Satan’s nature, or a detailed comparative analysis of themes across several texts in our class.

 

Assignments and their weights*:

Class-participation, attendance, response papers, and online discussions (20%)

1 long final paper or creative project (20%)

4 short essays plus at least 1 revision (60%)

 

*Grading Policy: participation assignments and essay drafts are graded on the basis of completion, revision grades replace original grades when applicable, and essays are assigned point values based on their relative weight in the overall course total (e.g. for a short essay worth 15% of the final grade, an “A” essay will receive either 14 or 15 points, a “B” will receive either 12 or 13, etc.). 100 total points are possible for the course.

 

Flag: Writing

CTI 345 • Satan And The Idea Of Evil

34120 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 302
show description

Course Description:

Since antiquity, writers have attempted to understand and define the idea of evil by giving it a voice. From the perspective of the Devil, some of the world's greatest creative thinkers have sought to challenge the intellectual resolve and rigor of their faiths while encouraging their characters and audiences to query the strength and doctrine of their own beliefs. As a result, through temptation narratives, morality dramas, cultural satires, and Faustian dilemmas, explorations of “the Adversary” have yielded some of the most compelling stories and characters ever imagined. In this course students will become familiar with the history and breadth of Satan’s role as a character (or merely background presence) in literature while developing close-reading techniques for literary analysis that can be applied across diverse eras, forms, and genres. Students will be asked to strengthen their critical reading and writing skills and to consider how our class topic can help illuminate aspects of our present-day culture and its history.

 

 

Grading Policy:

Class-participation and online discussions (20%)

1 long final paper or creative project (20%)

4 short papers plus 1 revision (60%)

(these will include a close reading of Milton, a comparative analysis of Faust narratives, a creative response to Baudelaire, an analysis paper in response to a prompt about Blake/Hogg/Twain)

 

Texts:

Required readings will be drawn from several periods of English and American literature, and European literature in translation. We will read selections from the Bible, Medieval poetry, drama, and mystical writing, Dante's Inferno, Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, Goethe’s Faust, Milton's Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Charles Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal, James Hogg’s Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Mark Twain's No. 44—The Mysterious Stranger, C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, and the early 21st-century novel by Glen Duncan titled I, Lucifer. Students' final projects may involve the analysis of another modern novel, the development of a creative exploration of Satan’s nature, or a detailed comparative analysis of themes across several texts in our class.

 

CTI 350 • Masterworks Of World Drama

33953 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm WEL 3.266
show description

Instructor- Professor Lang

Course Description

In this course we will investigate a perennial subject of the dramatic arts: the nature and pursuit of justice. We will seek to examine how different playwrights from different eras of Western literature have balanced elements like mercy, vengeance, fairness, due process, authority, prejudice, and public service in their definitions of justice. Students will consider whether the dramas in our selected classical, medieval, Shakespearean, and modern plays are idealistic, realistic, or polemical in their portrayals of the  (imperfect) enforcement of the law and its courts. Students will also consider the relationship between justice and the “court of public opinion.” We will bookend the semester by examining the way justice is portrayed as being served by the American criminal justice system in contemporary pop-culture dramas (e.g. Law and Order) and the way drama is used in some American prisons to facilitate rehabilitation among inmates. Our course requirements will include close reading and in-class discussion of plays, light exploration of philosophies of justice, informal impromptu acting, and written analysis.

 

Grading Policy

Grades will be based on (1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, timely submission of all written work, and active participation in class discussions and activities (10%); (2) approximately three writing assignments of varying lengths totaling 15-20 pages and a revision of one of these papers (50%); (3) a dramatic presentation of one or two short monologues from the required readings (10%); and (4) a midterm and final exam (10% and 20% respectively.)

 

Texts/Films

Law and Order, excerpts from selected episodes

Reginald Rose, Twelve Angry Men

Aeschylus, The Oresteia

Sophocles, Oedipus the King

Euripedes, Herakles

Medieval Mystery Plays: Christ Goes Before Pilate, Herod, Annas and Caiphas

Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure, Merchant of Venice

Henrik Ibsen, Pillars of Society

Arthur Miller, The Crucible

David Mamet, Oleanna

Shakespeare Behind Bars (2005 documentary by Philomath Films)

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