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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2007

E 314J • Literature and Theatre

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
33683 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
CAL 419

Course Description

What is the relationship between literature and theatrical performance? What are the ways in which a "text" changes its shape through a whole new visual representation? What is to be done in order to situate and perform a dramatic literature in a specific public arena?

This course explores how literature transforms and participates in a "conversation" through theater and performance. Taking theater as a space where different bodies and ideas encounter over a set of current social/cultural issues (problems), we will examine how a literary text can become a useful source for visual representation. Further, we will think about the correlations between literature and issues of spectatorship, reception and ethnography through performance, and figure out to what extent literature and performance can be a cultural/ethnographic representation.

As a side-note, the course will address the issue of dramaturgy. For example, we will see a dramaturg's role when literature interacts with gender/race/class/power dynamics in performance. Given that, the course also raises the questions of translation, various theatrical elements (music, dance, script, lyrics, staging, etc.), and genres (musical theater, non-verbal theater, spoken theater, etc.) in a cross-cultural context.

Grading Policy

Comments, questions on readings: 1 page ea. 5 times throughout the course 10%
Peer Reviews: 3 pages ea. 3 times throughout the course 10%
1 Performance Review: 5 pages, submitted twice 20%
Analytical Essays on books/other texts: 5-6 pages ea. For Midterm and Final, each submitted twice 60%


Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion
Alan Jay Lerner, My Fair Lady
Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Sondheim and Bernstein, West Side Story
Puccini, Madama Butterfly
Henry David Hwang, M. Butterfly
Selections from Dramaturgy in American Theater: A Source Book

There will also be a set of performances that have been adapted from short stories, poems, and novels.


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