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Peter Hess, Chair 2505 University Avenue, Burdine Hall 336, Mailcode C3300, Austin TX 78712-1802 • 512-471-4123

Spring 2010

GER 392 • Ibsen and Fin-de-Siècle Theater: Politics, Gender, and Performance - CANCELLED

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
38145 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
BUR 232

Course Description

In the last decades of the nineteenth century, Ibsen emerged as the foremost European dramatist and an international intellectual. Published, translated, and performed throughout Europe, his plays demonstrated that the theater could be a forum for the discussion of social and political issues, while they also challenged the aesthetic, as well as the ethical, expectations of their audiences. This course will begin with a survey of some of his most important works, as well as recent scholarship, including Toril Moi's Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism. We will then turn to plays by other contemporary playwrights: Ibsen’s acknowledged Swedish rival, August Strindberg; Elizabeth Robins, the co-author of the avant-garde Alan’s Wife and author of the suffrage play Votes for Women, whose performances in Hedda Gabler and The Master Builder also helped introduce Ibsen’s work in England; Anne Charlotte Leffler, arguably the most important nineteenth-century woman dramatist; the Frenchwoman Rachilde; and the canonical playwrights George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Schnitzler, and Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Readings and discussions will focus on issues such as Ibsen and modernism; the role of translation in the reception (or even invention) of Ibsen; the theater and the creation of a European literary field; modern(ist) drama and the visual arts; modern(ist) drama and everyday language; the transformation of authorship in late-nineteenth-century Europe; gender and performance; comedy and modern(ist) drama; modern(ist) drama and history; the history of modern(ist) drama and the revision of the canon.

Grading Policy

One oral report (5%), one five-page paper (15%) a final research paper (60%), class participation (20%)


Ibsen: Love's Comedy, A Doll’s House, Ghosts, The Wild Duck, Rosmersholm, Hedda Gabler, The Master Builder, Little Eyolf Strindberg: The Father, Miss Julie, A Dream Play, The Ghost Sonata Robins: Alan’s Wife, Votes for Women, Ibsen and the Actress Leffler: True Women Rachilde: The Crystal Spider Shaw: The Quintessence of Ibsenism, Candida, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Man and Superman Wilde: Lady Windermere’s Fan, The Importance of Being Earnest, Salome Chekhov: The Seagull, The Cherry Orchard Schnitzler: La Ronde Hofmannsthal: The Difficult Man RECOMMENDED: Moi: Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism Bourdieu: The Rules of Art Habermas: The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere Apter: The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature Foulkes, ed. British Theatre in the 1890s Deak: Symbolist Theater: The Formation of an Avant Garde Innes: Avant-Garde Theater, 1892-1992 Szondi: Theory of Modern Drama


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