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Committee on Theater and Performance Studies

Website: https://arts.uchicago.edu/theater-and-performance-studies

 

Core Faculty

Chair

  • David Levin,  Departments of Germanic Studies and Cinema & Media Studies

Professors

  • Philip Bohlman, Department of Music
  • Thomas Christensen, Department of Music
  • Martha Feldman, Department of Music
  • Theaster Gates, Department of Visual Arts
  • Tom Gunning, Departments of Cinema & Media Studies and Art History
  • Elaine Hadley, Department of English Language & Literature
  • Loren Kruger, Departments of English Language & Literature and Comparative Literature
  • Larry Norman, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures
  • Freddie Rokem, Wiegeland Visiting Professor of Theater & Performance Studies
  • Yuri Tsivian, Departments of Art History, Cinema & Media Studies, Comparative Literature, and Slavic Languages & Literatures
  • Judith Zeitlin, Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations

Associate Professors

  • Berthold Hoeckner, Department of Music
  • Matthew Jesse Jackson, Departments of Art History and Visual Arts
  • Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures
  • Sarah Nooter, Department of Classics
  • William Pope.L, Department of Visual Arts
  • Steven Rings, Department of Music
  • Catherine Sullivan, Department of Visual Arts
  • Christopher Wild, Department of Germanic Studies

Assistant Professors

  • Seth Brodsky, Department of Music
  • Ariel Fox, Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations 
  • John Muse, Department of English Language & Literature
  • Rocco Rubini, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures

Professors of Practice

  • Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, Assistant Professor of Practice in Theater &  Performance Studies 
  • Annie Dorsen, Visiting Assistant Professor of Practice in Theater &  Performance Studies

Emeritus Faculty

  • David Bevington, Departments of English Language & Literature and Comparative Literature

Postdoctoral Scholars

  • Danielle Roper, Romance Languages and Literatures, Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture

Lecturers

  • Heidi Coleman, Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Shade Murray
  • David New
  • Pamela Pascoe
  • Jessica Wardell

 

Staff

  • Laura Ashlock, Production Manager of University Theater
  • Corrie Besse, Managing Director of University Theater, Undergraduate Academic Coordinator TAPS
  • Ben Caracello, Technical Director
  • Jenny Pinson, Props Manager
  • Samantha Rausch, TAPS North Theater Manager
  • Nathan R. Rohrer, Costume Shop Manager
  • Vicki Walden, Graduate Program Coordinator for the Center for Theater & Performance Studies
  • Jessica Kuehnau Wardell, Director of Design
  • Josh Wroblewski, Lighting Manager

Overview

The PhD program in Theater & Performance Studies is a joint degree program that affords students rigorous and comparative work across two disciplines. Students develop a program of study within TAPS that reflects their particular training and interests, and pursue that program together with a degree from an affiliated department: Art History, Cinema & Media Studies, Classics, East Asian Languages & Civilizations, English Language and Literature, Germanic Studies, Music, or Romance Languages & Literatures. Students may also extend their curricular experience through the development of performance work, engaging national and international artists in intellectual and artistic collaborations. Graduates are well prepared for professional opportunities in a variety of fields within and beyond the academy

The program consists of five main components: course work, artistic work, oral examinations, a joint PhD dissertation, and teaching. Compared to single degree programs, we expect the joint degree to involve up to an additional year of coursework.

The TAPS program option in the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) offers a concentrated introduction to the comparative aspirations and rigorous expectations of TAPS at the University of Chicago. For more information about the TAPS option in the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH), including details about admissions and aid, visit the program’s website.

 

The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Students cannot receive a stand-alone PhD in TAPS. Rather, they enter through another department and pursue their degree jointly with that other discipline. Degree requirements for the combined degree in TAPS will of necessity vary slightly from student to student in order to accommodate the requirements of the participating entry department, but every student is required to complete the following minimum requirements. Each student will take a total of 12 courses toward the TAPS degree, typically by the end of the third year. The coursework in TAPS will include:

  1. A two-course graduate sequence in the History and Theory of Theater and Performance, designed to provide a rigorous introduction to advanced study in the discipline.
  2. Three TAPS-related seminars within the entry department, to be determined in consultation with the advisor.
  3. Five courses outside the entry department.
    • Three courses in theater or performance practice (e.g., advanced acting, directing, set design, choreography, etc.).
    • Two seminars, selected in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies that complement the student’s disciplinary training.
  4. Two-Term qualifying paper and/or performance project.

In addition, students in TAPS will be expected to:

  • Participate in the TAPS graduate workshop. The TAPS workshop brings together students and faculty to discuss work in progress as well as current research in the wider field of Theater and Performance Studies.
  • Complete two internships in theater or performance practice with a professional theater, dance, or performance company. At least one of the internships should be completed over the summer (e.g., with the Chicago Performance Lab), while the other can be completed outside of Chicago with one of our national or international partners.

Qualifying Examination and Dissertation Proposal

Students are expected to complete the Qualifying Exam in TAPS at the outset of the fourth year and to prepare a dissertation proposal and assemble a dissertation committee by the end of the fourth year. 

  • The qualifying exam is an oral exam based on a reading list of 20–30 works and a brief thesis paper (5-10 pp.) summarizing key issues and concepts guiding the student’s intellectual agenda. The exam provides an opportunity for the student to look back and lend coherence to his or her coursework and also to look forward to the dissertation proposal and to the longer-term project of developing a profile as a scholar, artist, or scholar-artist.
  • The dissertation proposal and dissertation committee should reflect the program’s joint nature by including at least one faculty member from the Committee on TAPS. The exact structure of a student’s dissertation proposal will be determined in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies of the entry department. Ideally, the proposal should be approximately 15-20 pages in length and should detail three things: (1) the scholarly and artistic stakes of the project; (2) the methodologies to be employed; and (3) a detailed outline of the planned chapters and, if appropriate, the planned creative work. The proposal should be completed and defended one quarter after the Ph.D. exam (not counting the summer) and no later than the end of the fourth year. The dissertation should be completed no later than the end of the sixth year. 

Fellowships

Students admitted to doctoral study are typically awarded a five-year fellowship package that includes full tuition, academic year stipends, summer stipends, and medical insurance. Pedagogical training is a vital part of the educational experience at the University, so all fellowships include a required teaching component. 

Practical Opportunities

TAPS offers students access to a strong network of professionals throughout the area.  There are many opportunities to develop administrative skills and technical training, understand the inner workings of a theater company, and forge substantial contacts in the theater community. Chicago’s theater scene is collaborative and inclusive. UChicago faculty and students have collaborated with a variety of partners on campus as well as companies throughout the greater Chicago area, including:

About Face Theatre

Chicago Performance Lab

Court Theatre

Doc Films

Every House Has a Door

First Floor Theater

Goodman Theater

The House Theatre

Hubbard Street Dance

The Hypocrites

Joffrey Ballet

Lookingglass Theatre

Lucky Plush Productions

Manual Cinema

Neo-Futurists

Second City

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Theater Oobleck

University Theater

Victory Gardens Theater

Writers Theatre

 

Foreign Language Requirement

Students must adhere to the Foreign Language Requirement of the entry department.

Teaching Requirements

Students in a joint degree program need to meet teaching requirements of their entry department. In conjunction with that requirement and in consultation with the Directors of Graduate Studies in the entry department and TAPS, they are expected to teach two quarters of courses related to TAPS. This could take the form of teaching a section in the TAPS core, or a teaching assistantship or instructorship for a TAPS-related course in the entry department. Two annotated syllabi for courses in Theater and Performance Studies - one undergraduate, one graduate - will form part of the Ph.D. exam materials.

 

How to Apply

The application process for admission and financial aid for all graduate programs in the Division of the Humanities is administered by the Divisional Office of the Dean of Students. The Application for Admission and Financial Aid, with instructions, deadlines and department specific information is available online at http://humanities.uchicago.edu/students/admissions. Questions about admissions and aid should be directed to humanitiesadmissions@uchicago.edu or (773) 702-1552.

Theater and Performance Studies Courses

TAPS 31715. A Physical Approach to Acting. 100 Units.

This course offers students a multi-faceted approach to making acting choices and tactics concrete, legible and dramatic — through physical training, adventurous scene work and developing a critical framework for understanding acting as a corporeal practice.  The first half of each class will be dedicated to rigorous physical training:  building strength, extending range of motion, and developing skills, which may include head and handstands, juggling, balance, and basic tumbling.  In the second half of each class, students will work on scenes with a focus on strong physical choices.  Over the course of the quarter, students will research theater-makers and forms that approach physical theater in a variety of ways, and will attend one to two professional productions in Chicago.  

Instructor(s): A. Danzig     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Course is open to undergraduate and graduate students. For questions about the physical fitness level necessary to be successful in this class, please email the instructor at adrian.danzig@gmail.com.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 21715

TAPS 32110. Kafka and Performance. 100 Units.

This laboratory seminar is devoted to exploring the texts of Franz Kafka through the lens of performance.  In addition to weekly scenic experiments and extensive critical readings (on Kafka as well as performance theory) we will explore the rich history of adapting Kafka in film, theater, puppetry, opera, and performance.

Instructor(s): D. Levin, S. Bockley     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 22110,FNDL 22115,GRMN 23110,CMST 28310,CMST 38310,GRMN 32110

TAPS 32310. Performance Art Installations: Performing Diaspora. 100 Units.

We are living in an age of unprecedented movements and migrations of populations, some voluntary, many under extreme duress. The course will focus on the lives of those who have in one form or another lived through this great displacement. On the basis of material developed through our examinations and experimentations, we will create a performance installation piece. The “archive” for the piece will be drawn from a variety of sources: plays, essays, popular and social media, student-conducted interviews. Further material will be generated through acting exercises and our own work with video and visual arts. 

Instructor(s): P. Pascoe     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This course is available only by Instructor Consent. Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 22310

TAPS 32312. Virtual Theaters. 100 Units.

This course probes the nature and limits of theater by exploring a range of theatrical texts whose relation to performances are either partially or fully virtual. Like the works we will read, the course transgresses disciplinary, generic, and temporal boundaries, bringing together from various centuries philosophical dialogues (Plato), closet dramas, novel chapters in dramatic form (Melville’s Moby-Dick, Joyce’s Ulysses), radio drama, nonsense drama, and new media forms that test conventional definitions of theatrical performance: twitter theater, digital theater, algorithmic theater, and transmedia games.

Instructor(s): J. Muse     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 32312

TAPS 32318. Music and Disability Studies. 100 Units.

This course studies the ways that attitudes toward disability are constructed within a cultural sphere. From the perspective of disability studies, bodies and minds have many kinds of differences, but what is considered “disability” is determined by culture, not given by nature. Music, as well as film, literature, visual art, theatre, and so on, participate in the complex process of constructing and modulating attitudes toward disability. In this course, we will examine the interaction of disability and music in several ways: composers and performers whose creative production is shaped by bodily difference and disability; opera and film characters who embody and stage disability for our consumption; and more abstractly, music whose formal, sonic unfolding seems to engage issues of disability, even in purely instrumental art-pour-l’art works. We will read from the disability studies literature that critiques and theorizes disability themes in literature, film, and visual art, as well as musicology, music theory, and ethnomusicology literature that shows how disability themes are crucial in music. In this interdisciplinary class, students will gain a much more intimate understanding of the ways that attitudes toward abilities and bodies are constructed in art works, as well as be able to think, analyze, critique, write, and create with this understanding in mind. It is not necessary to read music notation for this course.

Instructor(s): Jennifer Iverson     Terms Offered: Spring,TBD
Equivalent Course(s): MUSI 32318,ENGL 25969,ENGL 45969,TAPS 22318,MUSI 22318

TAPS 32600. Chance in Performance. 100 Units.

The course will cover the historical, theoretical, and practical issues surrounding the use of chance in artistic production, with an emphasis on how these techniques have been used in live performance. We begin with the historical avant-garde, particularly Dada and Duchamp, continue with mid-century experiments by Cage/Cunningham and Fluxus artists, and finish with contemporary work like “No Dice” of Nature Theatre of Oklahoma and “Algorithmic Noir” by Eve Sussman. By creating performance projects using, or responding to, the techniques studied, students will have an opportunity to develop their own critical and practice-based point of view.

Instructor(s): A. Dorsen     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 22600

TAPS 33110. Directing Study. 100 Units.

This seminar results from the production work of the quarter, with text analysis, dramaturgical reading, and discussions based on the participating MainStage directors. Typically initiating in weekly sessions the quarter prior to production, academic credit is given the quarter of production following a final written exam.

Instructor(s): H. Coleman     Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory. Consent Only.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 23110

TAPS 34400. Circus Performance Lab. 100 Units.

Students will develop a fully realized original performance piece presented at the end of the quarter.  Theater-maker Leslie Danzig and visiting circus artist Amanda Crockett will lead this studio-based investigation into how to stage narrative texts through circus arts and physical theater vocabularies.  How do you stage scenes on trapeze? Through tumbling, juggling, rope climbing, dance choreography?  How do you compose these shorter scenes into a coherent production?  Previous experience with physical practices preferred (circus arts, gymnastics, athletics, dance). Beginners are also welcome.  Course will be customized to students’ backgrounds. 

Instructor(s): L. Danzig     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory. Questions: cbesse@uchicago.edu
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 24400

TAPS 34415. Games & Performance. 100 Units.

This experimental course explores the emerging genre of “immersive performance,” “alternate reality,” and “transmedia” gaming.  For all of their novelty, these games build on the narrative strategies of novels, the performative role-playing of theater, the branching techniques of electronic literature, the procedural qualities of videogames, and the team dynamics of sports.  Throughout the quarter, we will approach new media theory through the history, aesthetics, and design of immersive games, while working in labs with three Chicago-area companies including The House Theater, Mystery League, and Humans vs. Zombies. 

Instructor(s): H. Coleman     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 24415

TAPS 34610. Research and Performance: Mapping the Effect of Love. 100 Units.

This course will function as a lab for a new performance currently titled: Country Line Dance Grandma.We will build a container for the world of this piece through a series of experiments involving country line dance and the two step waltz. The primary goal of this development phase is to investigate the ritual of moving together in these forms and explore what it means to build a geometry of love and desire.

Instructor(s): Will Davis     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 24610

TAPS 34879. Theater and Performance in Latin America. 100 Units.

This course is an introduction to theatre, performance, and visual art in Latin America and the Caribbean. We will examine the intersection of performance and social life by looking at performance practices in key historical moments in Latin America and the Caribbean. We ask: how have embodied practice, theatre and visual art been used to negotiate particular moments in Latin American history? We will study performances during independence, revolution, dictatorships, processes of democratization, truth and reconciliation, as well as the rise of neoliberalism. In our investigation, we will pay close attention to how ideologies of race, gender, and sexuality are articulated and disseminated within these performances at critical historical junctures. Our corpus may include blackface performance traditions in the Caribbean, indigenous performance, queer performance and we will look closely at the artistic works of Coco Fusco, Neo Bustamante, Las Yeguas del Apocalipsis, Yuyachkani, Griselda Gámbaro, and others. We will also read key theoretical work in Performance Studies including the work Joseph Roach, Richard Schechner, Diana Taylor, Jill Lane, and others.

Instructor(s): D. Roper     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Taught in English.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 28479 ,SPAN 39117,LACS 29117,LACS 39117,GNSE 29117,GNSE 39117,CRES 29117,CRES 39117,SPAN 29117

TAPS 35515. Contemporary Political Strategies in Performance. 100 Units.

The emphasis of the course is on strategies—in the words of curator Florian Malzacher, “artistic strategies in politics, and political strategies in art.” In moments of political struggle, what can art DO, and what can it not? We will be combining case studies with theoretical background, examining strategies like occupation, participation, parafiction, 'technologies of care,' détournement and the art strike. Students will have the opportunity to put some of these approaches to the test by designing one or more local interventions according to the interests of the group.

Instructor(s): A. Dorsen     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 25515

TAPS 36217. Histoire du théâtre français de la Renaissance aux Lumières. 100 Units.

Entre le XVIe et le XVIIIe siècle, le théâtre français connaît une période de remarquable effervescence. La tragédie renaît avec la Cléopâtre captive d’Étienne Jodelle (1553), la pastorale et la tragi-comédie connaissent une popularité sans précédent, la comédie est à jamais transformée par la représentation de L’école des femmes (1663), le théâtre lyrique et l’opéra-comique acquièrent leurs spécificités respectives et le drame bourgeois rencontre ses premiers succès. Ce cours d’Histoire du théâtre français de la Renaissance aux Lumières se propose d’examiner la poétique de chacun de ces genres dans le contexte des grands courants esthétiques de l’époque (humanisme, baroque et classicisme). Tout en soulignant que les pièces produites durant les trois siècles étudiés sont encore tributaires des sources antiques et médiévales, ce panorama montrera de quelle façon le génie de certains auteurs – ainsi que les querelles que suscite l’opposition morale et intellectuelle à l’art dramatique – contribue au développement d’un des spectacles les plus brillants et les plus acclamés d’Europe.

Instructor(s): J. Perrier-Chartrand     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Taught in French.
Equivalent Course(s): FREN 36217,TAPS 26217,FREN 26217

TAPS 36310. Dramaturgical Investigations. 100 Units.

Dramaturgy is interdisciplinary, combining discursive practices and traditional academic disciplines as well as theory, history and practice. Dramaturgy primarily refers to the initial, preparatory stages of an artistic process on the basis of which ideas, texts and images will eventually be transposed into a new play/performance script, a stage performance, a film or a work of video art and even to curating, focusing on the conceptual and material prerequisites for a new work or exhibition. At the same time as the dramaturgical process, as a form of investigation, precedes the more concrete and more goal oriented stages of pre-production and rehearsals, it continues in a self-reflexive mode to accompany all the stages of the creative process, including the performances themselves, as well as deepening our understanding of their significance and impact after they have been performed.

,

In the seminar we will discuss the basic theoretical, historical and creative dimensions of dramaturgy as well as examine case-studies based on Antigone, Hamlet and Brecht's Learning Plays

Instructor(s): F. Rokem     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 26310

TAPS 36400. Post-Dramatic Theater. 100 Units.

This class sets out to explore the gamut of contemporary experimental theater, encompassing its varied theories and practices. Using Hans-Thies Lehmann’s path-breaking study Postdramatic Theatre as an ongoing point of reference, we consider a diverse array of practices from an eclectic group of artists spanning a broad range of eras and theatrical cultures (e.g., Elevator Repair Service, Forced Entertainment, Richard Foreman, Heiner Müller, Theater Oobleck, SheShePop, Robert Wilson) in a format that encompasses seminar-style discussion and laboratory-style practical experimentation. Team-taught by Seth Bockley (Chicago-based director) and David Levin (Chair of TAPS). Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.

Instructor(s): David J. Levin, Seth Bockley
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 36401

TAPS 36500. The Contemporary Sublime. 100 Units.

This course uses Annie Dorsen's upcoming performance project “The Great Outdoors” as a frame within which to explore contemporary notions of the sublime as both an aesthetic and a political imaginary. Our readings include a survey of the classic texts (Longinus, Burke, Kant) as well as modern and contemporary writers (Lyotard, Nye, Costa) as a way into formulating hypotheses about the position of the sublime in our hyper-linked and environmentally fragile era. Practice-based experiments and exercises will respond to the readings, offering an opportunity to test ideas against their applications.

Instructor(s): A. Dorsen
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 26500

TAPS 36515. Literature of the Fantastic and Operatic Adaptation. 100 Units.

This co-taught interdisciplinary course, offered through the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, explores literature of the fantastic (here including ghost stories and fairy tales) and the adaptation of such materials into opera, primary “Western-style” opera but also including some examples from Chinese opera. We will read some theoretical essays on adaptation, trans- or re-mediality, and the uncanny, but our focus will be on concrete examples and the historical arc of their transformation (which often entailed at least one intermediary step from story to play on the way to opera). This history, as in the famous case of Turandot, often involves an interesting chain of East-West crossings, misappropriations, and reappropriations; Chinoiserie has been a potent force in the history of Western opera and, in a new form, is currently in vogue again (at least judging from the recent proliferation of Chinese-themed Western-style or fusion operas being created and staged). We will select several specific operas or excerpts from opera as cases, reading their libretti, studying their music, and watching select productions on recorded media.

Instructor(s): J. Zeitlin     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 36515,TAPS 26515,MUSI 24618,MUSI 34618,EALC 26515

TAPS 36520. Staging History. 100 Units.

At a time when historical facts are contested, for example by holocaust deniers and even by politicians, it is urgent to examine the conditions of authenticity in works of art that are based on historical facts. In this course we will examine theatre performances and films that are based on past events discussing their role in the public sphere as historical/documentary works of art. 

Instructor(s): F. Rokem     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 26520

TAPS 36800. Imagining the Audience in Early Modern English Performance. 100 Units.

This course will explore the idea of the audience in early modern England by looking hard at the range and subtlety of its expressions, both from a distance and up close. At the outset, our remit will be digital/philological. We will track the concept of the collectivity across the EEBO corpus, looking for patterns of use and lexical innovation. We will also search the six (non-digitized) volumes of the Catalogue of British Drama. To prepare ourselves to make arguments on the basis of this work, we will consult methodological criticism on literary data mining and gain some hands-on experience with topic modeling, and possibly network visualization.
,The second leg of the course will involve reading works and criticism that not only address and represent, but in some measure also theorize, the audience as collective entity, zone of conduct, mode of encounter, etc. Primary texts will likely include Hamlet, Antony and Cleopatra, Timon of Athens, The Roaring Girl (Middleton and Dekker), Bussy D’Ambois (Chapman) and some court masques, royal entries and mayoral pageants. Non-dramatic works will likely include The Art of the Courtier (Castiglione), The Gull’s Horn-book (Dekker), The Art of English Poesie (Puttenham) and possibly some political tracts and treatises of the interregnum. A few of our dramatic and critical choices will be decided by vote at the start of the quarter.

Instructor(s): E. MacKay     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 36800

TAPS 38320. The Mind as Stage: Podcasting. 100 Units.

Audio storytelling insinuates itself into the day-to-day unlike other narrative forms. People listen to podcasts while they do the dishes, drive to work, or walk the dog. This hands-on course will explore the unique opportunities that this intimate relationship with an audience affords the storyteller. Documentary techniques and practices will form the basis of the course, with assignments from audio fiction and non-fiction, oral history, documentary theater, and comedy. Students will complete several short audio exercises and one larger podcast project. Attendance at first class session is mandatory. 

Instructor(s): S. Geis     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 28320

TAPS 38422. Opera in the Age of Its Mechanical Reproducibility. 100 Units.

Focusing on a diverse set of productions of Mozart’s "The Magic Flute" by Ingmar Bergman, William Kentridge, Martin Kusej, Simon McBurney, and Julie Taymor, we will seek to locate opera in the contemporary medial landscape, exploring some of the theoretical stakes, dramaturgical challenges, and interpretive achievements that characterize opera on film, DVD, and via live-streaming. Readings by W. Benjamin, T. W. Adorno, F. Jameson, M. Dolar, C. Abbate, P. Auslander, et al.

Instructor(s): D. Levin
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 37717,TAPS 28422,CMST 28301,CMST 38301,GRMN 27717

TAPS 38702. Italian Comic Theater. 100 Units.

A survey of the history of Italian theater from the Erudite Renaissance Comedy to Goldoni’s reform. We will pay particular attention to the tradition of commedia dell’arte (scenarios, stock characters, and plot formation), ancient and medieval influences, evolution and emancipation of female characters, and the question of language. Readings include works by Plautus, Ariosto, Machiavelli, Angelo Beolco (Ruzante), Flaminio Scala, and Goldoni. Toward the end of the course we will consider the legacy of Italian Comedy in relation to the birth of grotesque and realist drama in Pirandello.

Instructor(s): R. Rubini     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Taught in English.
Equivalent Course(s): ITAL 38702,TAPS 28702,ITAL 28702

TAPS 40305. Oedipus and Hamlet: On the Philosophy of Tragedy. 100 Units.

In this class we will consider closely attempts to understand tragedy philosophically. Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and Shakespeare’s Hamlet, two texts that have particularly attracted philosophical attention will serve as constant reference points, but other paradigmatic tragedies (Euripides Bacchae, Goethe’s Faust, Beckett’s Endgame) will also be considered. Among the philosophical contributions to be considered are works by Aristotle, Schiller, Schelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Scheler, Schmitt, Benjamin, Murdoch, and Menke.  Major issues to be dealt with: the structure of tragic plot; the tragic affects; catharsis; ancient and modern tragedy; tragedy and the tragic; the aesthetics of tragedy; tragedy and society; tragedy and the sacred.

Instructor(s): David Wellbery; Robert Pippin     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SCTH 40305,PHIL 50305,GRMN 40305

TAPS 41451. Palace of Lasting Life: History, Drama, Fantasy. 100 Units.

This course covers the history of Chinese theater from its emergence as a full-fledged art  form in the 10th-11th centuries (the Northern Song) up through its incorporation into modern urban life and nationalist discourse in the first decades of the 20th century (the Republican period). In addition to reading selections from masterpieces of Chinese dramatic literature such as Orphan of Zhao, Romance of the Western Chamber, The Peony Pavilion, we will pay particular attention to the different types of venues, occasions, and performance practices associated with different genres of opera at different moments in time. A central theme will be the changing status of the entertainer and the cultural meanings assigned to acting.  All texts to be read in English translation, but students are also encouraged to read Chinese texts in the original if feasible.

Instructor(s): J. Zeitlin     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Good command of classical Chinese.
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 41451

TAPS 44500. Brechtian Representations: Theatre, Theory, Cinema. 100 Units.

Brecht is indisputably the most influential playwright in the 20th century, but his influence on film theory and practice and on cultural theory generally is also considerable. In this course we will explore the range and variety of Brecht's own theatre, from the anarchic plays of the 1920's to the agitprop Lehrstück and film esp Kühle Wampe) to the classical parable plays, as well as the work of his heirs in German theatre (Heiner Müller, Peter Weiss) and film (RW Fassbinder, Alexander Kluge), in French film (Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker)), film and theatre in Britain (Mike Leigh and Lucy Prebble), and theatre and film in Africa, from South Africa  to Senegal and US (TBA). We will also give due attention to the often unacknowledged impact of Brecht’s theorizing on a range of genres and media on his better known contemporaries Adorno, Benjamin, Lukács as well as on cultural theory elsewhere from the Situationists to digital labor. Requirements: oral presentations; short midterm and final research paper.

Instructor(s): L. Kruger     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Designed for MAPH or PhD.
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 44500,CMLT 40800,CMST 36200

TAPS 48017. Phaedras Compared: Adaptation, Gender, Tragic Form. 100 Units.

This seminar places Racine’s French neoclassical tragedy Phaedra within a wide-ranging series of adaptations of the ancient myth, from its Greek and Latin sources (Euripides, Seneca, Ovid) to twentieth-century and contemporary translations and stage adaptations (Ted Hughes, Sarah Kane), read along with a series of theoretical and critical texts. Particular attention will be paid to critical paradigms and approaches in the evolving fields of classical reception studies, theater and performance studies, and gender studies. Reading knowledge of French strongly preferred.

Instructor(s): D. Wray & L. Norman     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CDIN 48017,FREN 48017,CLAS 48017,CMLT 48017,GNSE 48017