Apr 18 2016

Sample Research Proposal

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Here’s a good example of a research proposal that went well. Remember, proposal writing is a separate skill from argumentative or analytical writing.  The same is true of annotations.

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Apr 15 2016

Schedule for Final Presentation

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May 2
Panel 1: 6:30-7:15
Amanda, Arib, Bernadette, Paul

Panel 2: 7:30-8:15
Hope, Richard, Tiffany, Nhu

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Apr 15 2016

Submitting Final Essays

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1.) Send me your essay as an email attachment or a link to your MU Commons Site by 9pm 5/3.  Late papers will lose 10 points each day they are late.  Don’t forget to attach or post your 1 page writing reflection with the final essay, and send a pdf or link to one key source on which you relied most heavily.

 

2.) Make sure all web addresses on your Works Cited page are correct.  If I can’t find the source by linking or typing in the web address, there’s no way to verify it as a source (and I will be verifying them).

 

3.) If I haven’t received your paper by the deadline, I will email you. Otherwise, assume I received it.  Questions? Send me an email.

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Apr 03 2016

Ideas for an Angels in America Posting

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At this point in the semester, you should feel free to frame your posting in your own way. If you need ideas, however, here are some:

  1. Define “postmodernism” using Garner in combination with “Millennium Approaches.” In what specific scenes do you see Garner’s multiple movements of postmodernity at play? What are some hallmarks of postmodernity according to Garner?
  2. Representations of religion (Judaism and Mormonism in particular): using Hutchison-Jones’ article from Blackboard, discuss how the portrayal of religion inflects a specific scene in “Millennium.”
  3.  Openings/Closings: Why does “Millennium” open with the funeral of Sarah Ironson and close with the arrival of The Messenger?  What effect do these bookends have on the experience of viewing “Millennium” separately from the companion play, Part II: Perestroika? What do  the titles of these two parts of Angels in America imply or connote overall?

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Mar 10 2016

Ideas for postings for Sunday, 3/13

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You might consider one of the following approaches for your Sunday posting.

  1. For either of these playwrights, consider how the act of collaborative writing or performance affects their work, citing from the articles supplied to you.  How do you see Stanislavsky’s ideas about acting reflected in Chekhov’s drama? How do you see Fugard’s experiences with the political realities of South Africa reflected in the structure (not just the content) of The Island?
  2. How does “metatheater,” or the play-within-a-play form the heart of The Island? Why might Fugard/Kani/Ntshona use this device to create dramatic structure (use the article by Robert Gordon posted on Blackboard to help here).
  3. Choose a specific scene in which Chekhov shows the world around the three sisters changing without ever leaving the setting of their home. Explain how, in your opinion, his drama is strengthened by remaining within the walls of the home (you might also tie this to Zola’s exhortation for Naturalist theater).

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Feb 26 2016

Ideas for Responding to Adrienne Kennedy OR 1 CRAZY Final Project Idea

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This week’s Sunday posting is optional in that I drop the lowest grade from all your postings, so everyone can take one week where they don’t post. However, I’d still recommend you post either a repsonse to Kennedy’s “Funnyhouse of a Negro” OR a potential idea for a final project that you would find “crazy.” Ideas for the postings are below.

1.)  In what sense is this play Expressionist? Find a scene that would cause the audience to feel the way Negro-Sarah feels, rather than just observe her feelings on stage, and explain how if you were to direct this scene you would try to make it have the desired effect. What lines might you stress in performance? What tricks with lighting and sound could you use to develop the sensory experience of the scene (Tip: it might help to find clips of this play being performed via google. Then again, it might be easier to draw on your own creative imagination).

2.) Read the interview either with Kennedy herself or in the posted reading on Blackboard about Suzan Lori Parks, then tie a key passage/observation from either of these readings to a specific moment in the play itself. Where do you see the ideas espoused in the interviews with Kennedy and Parks represented in the play itself?

3.) Review the Final Project assignment link on the Assignments tab above, then propose a creative project. You don’t have to do this project; in fact, it might lead to more creativity if you propose an idea you won’t do. What would be a potential way to address the creative option for the final project that you would find engaging and interesting as an observer, even if you feel you don’t have the skills or time to do the project yourself?

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Feb 12 2016

Ideas for responding to Beckett and Jones/Baraka

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While these two writers represent very different traditions in some way, they also have stylistic similarities in their utter rejection of realism, their use of absurdism, their minimal approach to the set design, their archetypal use of character, and their emphasis on the abstract/symbolic use of language and image (see Lofgren’s posted reading on Blackboard for more on this). Analyze the conflict or overlap between the plays using one of the following approaches.

  1. Using either Cohn’s discussion of Beckett or Lofgren’s discussion of Jones/Baraka, analyze a moment of one of the plays to describe the impact of its choices in style and symbol.
  2. Delve more deeply into Cohn’s structural analysis of Beckett–what impact does the use of repetition, for example, have on the reader or viewer?
  3. Watch the video clip of Beckett’s “Play” posted on Blackboard and compare its approach to “Endgame” in terms of theme/meaning/setting (use Cohn to help you support your analysis)
  4. Test out Lofgren’s argument about the Western European influences on Baraka’s play in terms of it structural approach. How would an element of Lofgren’s argument about the tension between the Black Arts aesthetic and absurdism work when applied to a specific section of this play?
  5. What about gender? What role does femininity play in a scene from each assigned play for this week? Compare / contrast a scene from each play in terms of how it uses gender. You might use Lofgren to help with this.
  6. Watch the interview of Amiri Baraka by Ethelbert Miller linked to YouTube from Blackboard and discuss the impact that political history had on Baraka’s work, and where you see this influence in a scene of Dutchman, specifically.

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Feb 07 2016

Ideas for responses to Riverside & Crazy performance

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Remember that you’re required to post responses to two live performances over the course of the semester. Generally the live performance postings are a little shorter than the reading responses–aim for about 500 words and 30 minutes of writing, including time to edit and revise. Here are some ideas for responding to Riverside & Crazy:

-Describe how the production handled the needs of the stage set to show multiple levels and rooms
-Link the methods of staging and scene changes to concepts articulated by Williams and Pirandell (think no curtain, use of music and lighting, etc.)
-Describe how you think the performance dealt with acting challenges, and how effectively it used acting to convey character and meaning in a specific moment of the play
-Consider how the audience reacted to the play (when did they laugh/not laugh and why? What did they seem moved by? What comments did you overhear or share with others at intermission or after the performance?)
Try to focus on specific moments of the performance and compare them to the text (which would involve citing from your text).

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Feb 03 2016

Class the Week of Feb. 8th

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Don’t forget we will have class in the Reinsch auditorium 2/8, where we will discuss this week’s viewing of Riverside & Crazy.  Bring your text, but that’s all you’ll need. Take notes on the speaker and post a response to your blog after the lecture, as you would for a reading. Some questions to consider include:
-What is the role of creative process in personal growth, cultural growth, or the creation of community?
-What connections do you see between Dr. Rolling’s definitions of creativity or art and the definitions we have discussed in class?
-What role does education play in encouraging or defining creativity?

Ethics week has a number of events you can attend for extra credit: film screening on Tuesday night, Art with a Side of Ethics on Wednesday from 5-7pm. Here’s the full schedule!
http://marymount.libguides.com/ethics2016

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Jan 29 2016

Ideas for Responses to Tennessee Williams and Luigi Pirandello

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Feel free to use one of the ideas below as a concept for your interpretation of Pirandello’s 6 Characters or Williams’ Glass Menagerie.

  1. ) Further apply/interrogate the concept of “magical realism” and realism/naturalism What moments in these plays are realistic (naturalistic, according to Worthen)? Which moments seem to fit more in the category of “magical realism”? Why? Use your Worthen text to help you define these terms, as well as the lecture notes from last week. Quote & cite specific lines from the play itself to support your analysis.
  2. ) Reflecting on the Eric Bentley interview I posted as a pdf on Blackboard, how does his description of the debate between August Wilson and Robert Brustein, and his reflection on the dramatics Paul Green capture or not capture your own feelings about watching debates/discussions about race and art in the 20th century? Do you see clear connections between his ideas and those of articulate by Brecht (in Worthen)? Do Bentley’s responses seem dated (considering the interview is now over 10 years old, and he was 85 at the time),or do they still apply? Cite specific lines from Bentley’s interview, and if possible, apply his ideas about successful drama and what it does to scenes from Pirandello or Williams.
  3. ) Take any of the definitions of “parody” offered in Simon Denith’s except posted on Blackboard, and apply it to the clip of “For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls” connected from YouTube. Focus on a specific scene or moment of this play and how it ties to Glass Menagerie. What exactly is being parodied, and for what strategic purpose? Or do you think the term doesn’t apply here–is this pastiche or satire, rather than parody? This approach works best if you’re interested in studying dramatic form and purpose.

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