(Required-optional, 2 hrs, seminar)

Instructor: Péter Szaffkó                                                   Office hours: Monday 11:00-12:00

Time: Wednesday 10:00-11.40                                                                    Wednesday 9:00-10:00 

Place: 111/a


Aim of the course: The course is designed to discuss major social and political issues as reflected in the English-Canadian drama of the 80s and 90s. The course provides an interdisciplinary study of relevant social issues in contemporary Canada and their special treatment in the dramatic mode. Topics to be discussed will include the survival and present status of Native Canadian culture, problems of marginality, gender and postcoloniality, art and politics. The issues will be studied primarily through dramatic texts but relevant theoretical and critical essays as well as current newspaper and magazine articles will also be used to add a wider scope to the issues touched upon in the selected plays.

Requirements and the structure of the course: Students will be required to read the assigned plays (one play each week) together with selected critical writings. Individual seminars open with a stage presentation of a short but significant part of the given play by a previously selected team of students. The presentation will be followed by an introduction of the issue touched upon in the play by a student who has done some preliminary study in the field (mostly looking for relevant articles on the Internet). By the end of the semester each student will be required to write a 2,000-2,500-word home essay on a topic treated by one or more plays included in the seminar. Deadline: 7 May, 2001.

Grading:                                Class participation:                         20%

                                                Presentation and individual work:                30%

                                                Home essay:                                     50%


1. Topics and assignments:


31.01.                Orientation

07.02.      Allan Stratton, A Flush of Tories (1991)

14.02.      George F. Walker, Love and Anger (1989)

Johnson, Chris. “Who Controls the Future?” Essays on George F. Walker. Playing with Anxiety. Winnipeg: Blizzard, 1999. (reading room)

21.02.      Sharon Pollock, Blood Relations (1980)

Herb Wylie, “’Painting the Background”: Metadrama and the Fabric of History in Sharon Pollock’s Blood Relations” (reading room)

28.02.      Guest lecture on North American drama by Katalin Kürtösi (Szeged University)

07.03.      Sally Clark, Moo (1989)

14.03.      Tomson Highway, Dry Lips Ought to Move to Kapuskasing (1989)

William Morgan, “The Trickster and Native Theater: An Interview with Tomson Highway” (reading room)

21.03.      Daniel David Moses, Almighty Voice and His Wife (1991)

                Agnes Grant, “Native Drama: A Celebration of Native Culture” (reading room)

28.03.      Wendy Lill, The Glace Bay Miners’ Museum (1995)    

04.04.      David French, Jitters (1979)

S P R I N G   B R E A K

18.04.      Judith Thompson, The Crackwalker (1980)

                Cynthia Zimmerman, “Voices in the Dark” (reading room)

25.04.      George F. Walker, Criminals in Love (1984)

Chris Johnson, “I put it in terms which cover the spectrum”: Mixed Conventions and Dramatic Strategies in George F. Walker’s Criminals in Love” (reading room)

02.05.      Joan MacLeod, Toronto, Mississippi (1987)

09.05.                Summary of basic issues and evaluation of the seminar