Performance Remains: Slavery in the Black Dramatic Imagination|
AFAM 369, THEA 369|
As sociologist Orlando Patterson notes, "In the absence of historical records, one way to explore the inner lives of slaves is to exercise one's literary imagination" (Slavery and Social Death, 2018). Taking direction from Patterson, this course is interested in mining the literary imagination of contemporary Black playwrights who are interested in recovering, reconstructing, rewriting, repairing and, in some cases, revolting against the fragmented and muted histories of the African slave trade and the lost experiences of the Black lives therein. From Aimé Césaire's A Tempest (1969), a bold postcolonial adaptation of Shakespeare's Tempest, to Winsome Pinnock's Rockets and Blue Lights (2020), an examination of British history inspired by two 19th-century paintings by the English romantic painter J.M.W. Turner, our plays originate from the Caribbean, England, and the United States. As African diasporic texts, these plays are exercises in the dramatic power of Sankofa, a principle derived from the Akan people of Ghana, meaning that the plays become the vessels through which audiences, readers, and characters return to the past in order to better understand and move forward in the present. We will engage in a thorough exploration of form, region, dialect, adaptation, and aesthetics, among other aspects, as we align lost and documented histories with dramatic conjuring.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (HRAD-MN)
||Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Tanya Barfield, BLUE DOOR (United States)
Aime Cesaire, A TEMPEST (Martinique)
Lydia Diamond, HARRIET JACOBS: A PLAY (United States)
Jeremy O. Harris, SLAVE PLAY (United States)
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, APPROPRIATE (United States)
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, OCTOROON (United States)
Robert O'Hara, INSURRECTION (United States)
Dennis Scott, AN ECHO IN THE BONE (Jamaica)
Derek Walcott, DREAM ON MONKEY MOUNTAIN (Saint Lucia)
Winsome Pinnock, ROCKETS AND BLUE LIGHTS (England)
Visual Artists: Kara Walker; Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gómez-Peña
Assigned scholarship will likely include the work of: Ana Lucia Araujo, Robyn Autry, Homi Bhabha, Demetrius Eudell, Nicole Fleetwood, Frantz Fanon, Saidiya Hartman, Douglas A. Jones, David Krasner, Tavia Nyongâ¿¿o, Orlando Patterson, Christina Sharpe, Rebecca Schneider, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, and Harvey Young, among others.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
: Two short response essays; One group presentation; Research paper/project related assignments (abstract statement, annotated bibliography, research presentation); discussion posts, and one final research essay/project.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course contributes to the fulfillment of ENGL major requirements: American Literature, Literary History 3, Theory, World Literature, Research Option, elective.
This course will also count towards the Theater Methods category of the THEA major.
|Instructor(s): McMahon,Rashida Z. Shaw Times: ..T.... 07:10PM-10:00PM; Location: TBA|
|Total Enrollment Limit: 15||SR major: 5||JR major: 5|| || |
|Seats Available: 1||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 3||JR non-major: 2||SO: X||FR: X|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 0||1st Ranked: 0||2nd Ranked: 0||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 0||Unranked: 0|