Spring 2023

The Revolution Will Be Dramatized: Contemporary African American Drama

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-303  |  English, as ENGL-430


Frank Leon Roberts (Section 01)


(Offered as ENGL-430 and BLST-303) This course focuses on contemporary African American playwrights. Special attention will be given to changes in the landscape of black American theater over the course of the last two decades. What does contemporary African American drama have to say about issues such as gender, sexuality, class, and/or social justice activism? How has black theater and drama been renewed and/or transformed in the wake of the contemporary movement for black lives? We will search for answers to these questions through close readings of plays by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Dominque Morriseau, Antoinette Nwandu, Jordan Cooper, Anna Deveare Smith, Jeremy O’Harris, Brandon Jenkins, and Katori Hall among others. Our readings will be supplemented with viewings of live-theater performances (included a field-trip to New York City) and virtual conversations with variety of contemporary black playwrights/theater artists. Students should leave this course with not only with a firm grasp on major debates in black theater and performance studies---but also a strong foundation in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism.

Prior coursework in theater studies and/or Black Studies is recommended but not necessary. Spring semester. Professor Roberts.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis on written work including weekly journal entries, readings, oral presentations, active in-class verbal participation, group work, in-class quizzes or exams, field work or trips, visual analysis, aural analysis, dramaturgical analysis, performance analysis.

BLST 303 - LEC

Section 01
W 2:30 PM - 5:15 PM CONV 108


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023