Proseminar: Multi-Ethnic American Drama

Dozentin: Christina Caupert M.A.
Termin: Fr. 14.00-15.30 Uhr
Raum: 1087

Ethnic diversity has always been one of American society's (or rather, societies') characteristic features, but for a long time, only one group of people were considered capable of making valuable contributions to American culture: those of European descent. Of course, this judgment resulted from the fact that it was European Americans who held the political, economic, and discursive power and were thus able to decide what was to be regarded as art in the first place.
While the arts sector has become markedly more diverse in the course of the cultural developments of the past century, non-European ethnic groups are still significantly underrepresented in the genre of drama. Not before the second half of the twentieth century did minority playwrights get the opportunity to speak out and be paid some public attention, and to this day discussions of their works are comparatively rare and often somewhat cursory.
In this seminar we will try to take a more in-depth look at a number of African American, Native American, Asian American, and Chicano plays. Our focus will be twofold: firstly, we will analyze and interpret each individual play in its own right, and secondly, we will contextualize the themes and styles we encounter with the help of suitable literary and cultural theories. Time permitting, we will also discuss a European American drama since of course, "white" America, too, is far from monolithic, and people of European descent are just as "ethnic" as anyone else.

Teilnahmevoraussetzungen: Introductory course

Scheinerwerb: Timely fulfillment of reading and homework assignments, regular attendance, active participation in class, presentation, term paper. 6 credit points.

Einführende Lektüre bzw. Textgrundlagen:
A complete reading list will be published on Digicampus by April. The plays will be made available in a reader around the start of the semester (check the seminar news section on Digicampus).