Dr. Rippy’s Office Hours, Location, Phone 
TF 12:30-2:00, Butler G122;  T 4-4:30 Ballston 2043,
W by appointment, Butler G122  Ph. 703/526-6805

TF 2:45PM – 04:00PM, Ballston Center, Room 3066 (hybrid course–selected sessions will meet online or at theaters)

All these policies can also be found on your syllabus link from Canvas, as discussed on the first day of class.

    This course offers a critical study of the development of modern drama from the 19th century to the present. The course includes a study of major modern dramatic movements such as realism, expressionism, black arts, and postmodern performance art. Prerequisite: EN 102 or permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: DSINQ LT-2, WI (3)

This course will introduce you to the primary texts & emerging themes in modern drama and culture.  We will examine a wide range of drama, beginning with 19th century realism, continuing with dramatic experimentation and modernism, and concluding with the contrasting characteristics and effects of narrative style and cultural experiences in postmodern drama.  This course will seek to place traditional or canonical texts alongside multicultural texts, studying drama from various continents and cultures. Therefore, we will look at a variety of time periods, philosophies, and cultural perspectives to gain a deeper understanding of modern drama.

The course will encourage you to write thoughtfully and critically about dramatic texts, as well as to articulate your ideas clearly and accurately.  To meet this goal, we will work individually and in groups discussing texts, offering insight into the writing of classmates, and sharing your own writing with others.  Your grade will be the result of your work on essays, exams, quizzes, class participation, and a final project with oral presentation, annotated bibliography, and essay.

2.  COURSE OBJECTIVES/Learning Outcomes:  Upon successful completion of this course students will be expected to:

Liberal Arts Core General Learning Objectives – Skills: Analysis, Critical Reasoning, Problem-Solving

  • practice analytical discourse, critical reasoning, and problem-solving through close textual analysis and interpretation of dramatic texts
  • examine dramatic texts from a variety of critical and theoretical perspectives

Aesthetic Appreciation

    • examine the aesthetic principles that inform literary production and apply them to the study and analysis of literary texts

 Discipline-Specific Outcomes – Advanced-level Literature:

  • examine the aesthetic and ideological contexts that inform modern drama
  • apply knowledge and experience in literary analysis to a modern drama

University Writing Intensive Outcomes

  • identify a suitable subject for scholarly inquiry in the discipline, analyze appropriate primary and secondary source materials, and support a focused thesis or argument in a clear and coherent product.
  • produce written work appropriate to the discipline through a process that involves drafting and revision based on feedback;
  • produce focused and coherent texts that address a specific audience, move effectively between generalizations and details, make honest use of sources, and engage complex ideas without distortion;
  • produce texts that show careful attention to fluent sentence structure, grammatical correctness, and proper documentation.


This course meets the University Requirement of Inquiry Learning (DSINQ designation). Four Inquiry-guided learning courses, including DISCOVER 101 or 201, are required and are designed to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to ask questions and find answers within their discipline. In this course students will:

  • Formulate and/or respond to (an) appropriate inquiry question(s) and develop a methodology to examine the question(s)
  • Identify and explore existing knowledge relevant to the question(s)
  • Analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information from source(s) 
  • Draw (an) independent conclusion(s) that integrate(s) new information with previous knowledge
  • Effectively communicate inquiry findings

This course also has course-specific learning outcomes. In this course students will:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the conventions and evolution of modern drama in text and practice
  • synthesize major points regarding modern drama and its related literary traditions in exams
  • demonstrate knowledge of informational research techniques for the cultural and literary understanding of modern drama in a research project and oral presentation
  • identify key passages, characters, and significant terms from the works studied in class and explain their significance
  • describe the relationship between various movements in modern drama in essays and exams
  • examine the aesthetic principles that inform production of modern drama and apply them to the study and analysis of dramatic texts.

The course will be student centered, expecting significant discussion in class.  The objectives will be met through the use of lectures, discussions, short essays, research presented orally and in annotated bibliographies, a final project, and in class participation (review workshops, online postings, attendance at events).

Grading Scale:  A = 90-100% B = 80-89% C = 70-79% D = 60-69% F = 0-59%
Plus and minus grades fall within a 3% range at either end of a particular grade scale.  Attendance/Participation: 15% of overall grade:  hybrid course–many sessions will meet online or at theaters

Attendance/Participation: 15% of overall grade; hybrid course–many sessions will meet online and one theater trip is required.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020: last day to withdraw from a class without academic record
Friday, March 20, 2020: last day to withdraw from a class with a grade of W

5.  ASSIGNMENTS (see details on assignments tab)
Detailed assignment sheets with grading rubrics also available on Canvas Assignments
15% Participation (Attendance online and in person, Canvas postings, extra credit, and quizzes)
25% Exams (10% Exam 1; 15% Exam 2)

10% Class Scene Performance, with source(s)
(3-4 pages; 750-1000 words)

Inquiry Assignments
15 % Project Proposal and Annotated Bibliography (Due in draft and revision; 500-750 words, plus 5-6 sources, annotated in around 75 words)
20% Final Project and Presentation (5-7 page research essay; 5-10 minute presentation due with reflection essay)
15% Self-assessment & Presentation of Final Project 500 word minimum self-assessment of your writing/research/creative process
Purdue OWL, 8th Edition
Sample student proposal/bibliography from graduate course

General Course information
Attendance/Tardy Policy: You are expected to be here on time, every day. This is a student-centered course, depending upon you for quality discussion and workshops. Each student will be allowed 2 personal days with only a minor penalty of 5 points off the overall attendance score for each day absent (if we have an in-class quiz or presentation, these cannot be made up). Personal days can be compensated by strong online postings and extra credit. If you must be absent, make sure you let me know. Tardiness of more than 10 minutes equals an absence, as does text messaging or cell phone use in class. Your final grade will reflect a 10 point deduction from your participation grade for every absence beyond the second. If you never miss or are late to class, and post on time and thoughtfully for online assignments and quizzes, you will receive at least a 90% on your participation grade.

Written Assignments:  Keep all written assignments for this course.  Do not throw away or delete essays or drafts until after the completion of the course.  Bring work submitted to any conferences with the instructor.
Digital Submissions
Most work in this course will be submitted electronically via Canvas. Peer Reviews will happen on Canvas, and in person and may require multiple hard copies, as noted in the class schedule. In the case of formal papers, follow the format below for electronic submissions or for hard copies. MS Word software or a pdf are preferred if you plan to submit work as an attachment on Canvas. If I cannot open a file that has been submitted, I will contact you via email and count the work late if not immediately resubmitted in a readable format

Essay Format: Since this is an English course, written work determines the bulk of your grade.  Since this is not a course in grammar, you should use a writing handbook or online support such as like Marymount’s LibGuides.  (linked to your Canvas site) to review use of clear sentences and words as well as format. Make sure you know how to cite sources correctly whenever you refer to them in any project.
If requested in hard copy the work should be in the following format.
• 8 1/2” x 11” (standard letter) paper      • 1” margins, 12 pt. font
Quizzes: In-class and online quizzes will be given to ensure you are completing and understanding reading assignments. These factor into your participation grade.

Any written work with your name on it signifies that you are the author–that the wording and the major ideas are yours, with exceptions indicated by quotation marks and citations. Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of others’ materials (words and ideas). Evidence of plagiarism will result in a report filed with Academic Integrity Committee and the possibility of a failing grade for the assignment and/ or an F in the course.

Late Work: 
Papers are due on the date listed. They will lose 10 points for each class session they are late. If you become ill or the victim of an emergency situation, contact me as soon as possible to make alternate arrangements.  Absence is no excuse for failing either to turn in an assignment or to get instructions for a new assignment.  Plan ahead or make arrangements.  Technical or computer problems explain, but do not excuse, late work.

All writing, however strong, can benefit from a careful reader’s response. In addition to feedback from your instructor and your classmates, writing assistance is available from peer tutors in the Center for Teaching and Learning. Tutors can help at any stage of the writing process – from getting started to final editing. They can help you figure out an assignment, overcome “writer’s block,” or discover your thesis. Remember, however, that tutors are not allowed to revise or edit students’ papers for them. All changes, revisions, or corrections must be your work. The Center is located in Rowley Hall.  In addition, you should already be familiar with the Reinsch Library and its resources, and with the Ballston library extension. Self-tours and research guides are available at the library and on Canvas.

Conference with Instructor 
You may stop by my office during scheduled office hours to discuss any aspect of the course. Please let me know that you are coming beforehand, if possible. To make an appointment at another time, see me after class or contact me through e-mail.  Do not assume that Starfish appointments are confirmed until you receive an email from me confirming the appointment.

By accepting this syllabus, you pledge to uphold the principles of Academic Integrity expressed by the Marymount University Community. You agree to observe these principles yourself and to defend them against abuse by others. Items submitted for this course may be submitted to TurnItIn.com for analysis.

For the benefit of current and future students, work in this course may be used for educational critique, demonstrations, samples, presentations, and verification. Outside of these uses, work shall not be sold, copied, broadcast, or distributed for profit without student consent.

Please address any special challenges or needs with the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

Students with Disabilities
If you are seeking accommodations (class/course adjustments) for a long-term or short-term (less than 6 months) disability, you must do the following:

  • Register as a student with a disability with Student Access Services (SAS) in the Center for Teaching and Learning. This process takes time, so you should engage it as early as possible.
  • Once registered with SAS, you may be approved for accommodations by SAS. Approved accommodations will be listed on a “Faculty Contact Sheet” (FCS). This is important because not all accommodation requests are approved.
  • After receiving the FCS, meet with each of your instructors as soon as possible to review your accommodations, and have them sign the FCS. This document will help you and your instructors develop a plan for providing the approved accommodations.
  • Let SAS know if there are any concerns about the way your accommodations are being implemented by your instructors.

Please remember that:

  • Accommodations for disabling conditions cannot be granted if you do not follow the above steps.
  • Accommodations are not retroactive. That is, accommodations can only be applied to a course after they have been approved by SAS and put into motion by you through working with your instructors.
  • Appointments with the SAS staff are scheduled through the Starfish “Success Network” tab in Canvas. For more information, check the SAS website, e-mail access@marymount.edu, or call 703-284-1538.

Students with Temporary Challenges
Temporary challenges due to accident, illness, etc. that may result in missing class or navigating general campus access do not fall under the purview of SAS. If you experience something of this nature, please start by alerting your instructors. The Dean of Student Success may be involved in alerting instructors in extreme cases.

When students are absent due to a crisis situation or unexpected, serious illness and unable to contact their individual instructors directly, the Division of Student Affairs can send out an Emergency Notification. To initiate an Emergency Notification, students should contact the Division of Student Affairs 703-284-1615 or student.affairs@marymount.edu. Emergency Notifications are NOT appropriate for non-emergency situations (e.g. car problems, planned absences, minor illnesses, or a past absence); are NOT a request or mandate to excuse an absence, which is at the sole discretion of the instructor; and are NOT a requirement for student absences. If a student contacts instructors about an emergency situation directly, it is not necessary to involve the Division of Student Affairs as arrangements are made to resolve the absence.

For non-emergency absences, students should inform their instructors directly.

Copies of your work in this course including copies of any submitted papers and your portfolios may be kept on file for institutional research, assessment and accreditation purposes. All work used for these purposes will be submitted confidentially.

Weather and Emergency closings are announced on Marymount’s web site: www.marymount.edu, through MUAlerts, area radio stations, and TV stations. You may also call the Weather and Emergency Hotline at (703) 526-6888 for current status. Unless otherwise advised by local media or by official bulletins listed above, students are expected to report for class as near normal time as possible on days when weather conditions are adverse. Decisions as to inclement closing or delayed opening are not generally made before 6:00 AM and by 3:00 PM for evening classes of the working day. Emergency closing could occur at any time making MUAlerts the most timely announcement mechanism. Students are expected to attend class if the University is not officially closed. If the University is closed, course content and assignments will still be covered as directed by the course instructor. Please look for communication from course instructor (e.g., Canvas) for information on course work during periods in which the University is closed.

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