Mythic & Modern: Reappropriating Classical Themes in Contemporary Drama and Performance|
Spring 2021 not offered
What does it mean to defy the authority of the patriarch, of family, or of government? How do these structures of authority intersect in contemporary society? How do we, today, understand "destiny"? How do we challenge it, and what are the consequences for doing so? How do we break the patterns of shame and disenfranchisement inherited from the shared past? These are just some of the social, political, and ethical concerns transmitted over time by playwrights, stage and performance artists, and film directors who treat classical myths as valuable constructs for interrogating our contemporary world and society. In this collaborative, project-based course we explore how classical myths have been appropriated within the modern Italian and Italophone cultural context. Just as important as our study and discussion of modern adaptations of classical models are the staged readings of key scenes incorporated strategically throughout the semester that help us develop an organic understanding of the material from the inside. Our overarching aims include: 1) exposing what persists in modern adaptations of classical myths, 2) tracking the kernels of change that the adaptations present, and 3) understanding why performers over time, working in disparate cultural milieus, continue to seek and derive inspiration from classical myths. The mythic figures we examine may include any of the following: Sophocles' Antigone, Euripides' Oedipus and Medea, Aeschylus' Agamemnon, as well as figures from the Oresteia and from such epics as Homer's "Iliad" and Virgil's "Aeneid." This course is taught in conjunction with ITAL263 and FREN263. The final collaborative performance, scheduled during the final exams period, will involve students from across the Romance Languages and offers the unique opportunity for cohort building among students of French, Italian, and Spanish.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ITST)(RMST)
A variety of modern plays from Italy based on classical myths
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Regular, short responses to the readings, on the Moodle discussion forum; three short (3 page) essays; engagement, by acting or offering tech crew support, in the final project (a staging of one of the plays)
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course is intended for students who have completed a course numbered 221 or higher in Italian with a grade of B- or better or who spent Fall 2020 in Bologna. Readings, class discussion, and written work in Italian only.
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