English 153 - Spring, 2016

Topics in Drama

    Topic: Advanced Shakespeare: Current Critical Approaches

Class Information

Instructor: Bloom, Gina
CRN: 63189
Time: TR 12:10-1:30
Location: 80 SS/Hum.


    This course is designed for students who have had some background in the study of Shakespeare (preferably at least one college-level class) and are eager to pursue a deeper investigation of the plays. Instead of choosing one over-arching rubric, the course will introduce students to a range of “hot topics” in Shakespeare scholarship over the last ten years. We will approach the plays through each of the following lenses: performance, media/adaptation, embodiment/senses, temporality/history, animal studies, and cognitive science.

    In line with the goals of "Advanced Study" English courses, we will move more quickly through our study of the plays than would be the case in a typical Shakespeare course. Students should expect to read approximately one Shakespeare play and one critical essay each week of the term. Additionally, in hopes of exposing students to texts they have not yet read, our syllabus will include less canonical Shakespeare plays. Students will also become familiar with journals, databases, and other resources in the field. Students will be guided through the steps of writing a research paper, producing a series of shorter writing assignments that culminate in a 10-page research paper at the end of the quarter.

    As part of our segment on performance, the class will attend Tina Packard's _Women of Will_ show at the Mondavi Center on Saturday, April 9. The performance is divided into two parts: Part I starts at 3 PM and Part II starts at 7:30. There is a dinner break between the parts. The performance is $5 only for members of our class, and tickets must be purchased before April 8 at the Mondavi Center Box Office.

    Tentative list of plays:
    A Winter's Tale
    The Tempest
    Henry IV, Part 2
    A Midsummer Night’s Dream
    Two Noble Kinsmen
    Two Gentlemen of Verona

    I strongly recommend the Norton Anthology as your anthology. Any complete edition of the Norton is acceptable, including their new Digital Edition (as long as you can bring your digital device to class). If you already own another printed anthology or digital versions of the plays that you wish to use, please check with the professor to find out if they are acceptable.


    Requirements include several short papers/assignments, quizzes, class participation, and a 10 page research paper.


    The Norton Shakespeare (any edition)