EN3MAD-Modern American Drama

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: English Part 1
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Grace Ioppolo

Email: g.j.ioppolo@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module will examine modern American drama in the context of American culture, politics and society from the 1930s onward. Topics to be covered will include the conflict between traditional American societies and those of assimilated or bi-cultural immigrant groups, as well as representations on-stage of race, class and gender.

This module aims to provide practical study of several seminal plays which represent the rise and expansion of American theatre. In addition, it aims to develop critical awareness of issues surrounding the understanding of twentieth-century American theatre history and performance criticism.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Assessable outcomes

By the end of the module students will be expected to:
•show skills of close textual analysis of American drama as literature and performative texts.
•show an awareness of broader theoretical issues about American drama, theatre and culture generated by the texts
•engage critically with ideas discussed in seminars.
•construct and express coherent arguments, both orally and in writing.

Additional outcomes:
Oral and written communication skills will be developed, together with critical, interpretative and analytical abilities. Students will also enhance their IT competence through the use of relevant web resources in a critically informed manner.

Outline content:
Plays to be studied will include: DH Hwang, M Butterly; Arthur Miller, The Crucible;
Eugene O’Neill, A Long Day’s Journey into Night, Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein, Oklahoma; Wendy Wasserstein, The Heidi Chronicles; Thornton Wilder, Our Town; Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire; August Wilson, The Piano Lesson. If possible, the course will include visits to some or any of these plays in production in London, Oxford, Stratford-on-Avon, or Reading.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Structured three hour seminars, for which students are required to do preparatory reading. Students are also entitled to a half-hour tutorial on their formative written work. With the consent of the module convenor, students may also undertake a placement, through which they will learn how to apply the knowledge and skills gained in studying for this module in a professional context outside the University.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 30 1
Tutorials 0.5
Guided independent study 129.5 39
Total hours by term 160.00 40.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Summative Assessment Methods (%) - work which always contributes towards the overall module mark

Formative assessment methods:
Formative Assessment Methods - work which provides opportunities to improve performance (e.g. through feedback provided) but which does not necessarily always contribute towards the overall module mark:

Students write one formative essay, of between 1500 and 2000 words. Feedback will also be provided on the assessed essay of 2250-2500 words, or the equivalent placement report.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of at least 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August. Coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Otherwise it must be resubmitted by 22 August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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