English 317, Fall 2010

Renaissance Theater and the Early Modern Book

Meeting Time: Wednesday, 1:15-4, Room to be announced.

Office: 515 Williston Library (Faculty Study, south end of 5th level of stacks)

Phone: home, 253-9166. Please contact by email or at home phone.

email pberek@mtholyoke.edu

Office Hours, Wednesday, 4:15 to 6, and by appointment.

The commercial theater of Shakespeare and his contemporaries evolved as a popular art as the emerging market for printed books began to create a popular literature. Theaters, acting companies, plays and theatrical audiences helped shape one another, as the book trade shaped and was shaped by reading publics. Case studies in plays by such writers as Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Thomas Dekker, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, Elizabeth Cary, and John Webster; sustained attention to acting companies, performance practices such as cross-dressing, as well as to gender roles and sexuality. Substantial opportunity for independent work reflecting each student's interests.

Meets Humanities I-A requirement

P. Berek

Prereq. jr, sr, 8 credits in department beyond English 101 or permission of instructor; 4 credits; expected enrollment 15; meets English department pre-1700 requirement; meets English department seminar requirement


Text for Fall 2010 (available at Odyssey Bookstore)


English Renaissance Drama: A Norton Anthology, ed. David Bevington et. al. New York, W. W. Norton, 2002.

Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, ed. David Bevington. Arden 3, 1998

Writing and speaking assignments:

Each student, each week, is reponsible for posting a comment or question about the week's reading assignments on the course on-line disussion board in Ella. Postings are due by 5 PM of the Tuesday before class.

Each student will submit a short (about 5 page) paper at midsemester and a substantial paper involving independent research at the end of the semester. You should aim for a length of about 15 pages in your research paper. As early in the semester as you conveniently can, you should discuss your plans for both papers with the instructor. Some students may decide to use the long paper as a chance to pursue further issues that arise in the short paper, but you are not required to do so. There will not be a final exam.

Each student will give a 10-minute report to the whole class on her long paper project. You may want to speak in some depth about one section of your long paper rather than trying to summarize the whole argument. The oral report, a "first draft" of your paper, gives you a chance to test out your ideas and receive advice from the class (including the instructor) at a time when you still have ample opportunity to revise your work.