GERM-542 Classical Drama
Fall for 2016-2017
This graduate seminar will engage in a threefold examination of drama in the long eighteenth century: as a site of theoretical inquiry, as a field of literary praxis and as a mode of theatrical performance. Through analyses of texts from the early Enlightenment to the so-called Classical period, the seminar will address the following questions: Why does drama hold such pride of place in eighteenth-century aesthetics (and in accounts of eighteenth-century literary history)? How do eighteenth-century intellectuals think through the relationship between dramatic form and the social world? How, when, and why do they call upon (or abandon) Aristotelian drama theory? What are the consequences of theoretical and practical interventions such as the banning of the Hanswurst, the establishment of standing theaters, and the publication of Lessing's Hamburgische Dramaturgie? Finally, how do eighteenth-century dramas generate, critique, and transform images of gender and the family?
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