David Odai Johnson
Specific topics in theatre history, examining the drama of various national, linguistic, and/or religious culture in detail.
This seminar is an excavation into the sites of memory of Greek and Roman antiquity. As such it aspires to acquaint the scholar of this period with the ‘excavations’ of theatre culture of Attic and Hellenistic Greece, the Republic and Imperial Rome, and late antiquity, through its surviving artifacts, narratives, and its erasures. The objective of the course is to return to and re-encounter an overly constructed period through its basic primary sources (archeologic, textual, architectural, iconographic), with all their uncertainties, ancient and modern, in the attempt to consider the totality of a culture that has survived largely through its ruins and its fragments. Among the texts we will consider are plays, forensic speeches, monuments, architecture, The questions that propel the course are those of memory: how antiquity has been remembered, what are the marks of that memory, and what are the marks of memory’s erasure. To this end, a basic acquaintance of the plays, playwrights, and critical texts of the period is imperative.
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Class assignments and grading