Comparative Literature | The Arts Today: 1950 to the Present
C655 | 25204 | --

W 4:00-6:30 BU 108

*This course satisfies A&H and CS requirements

We shall examine some of the major tendencies in the “arts” --
literature, theatre, dance and the visual arts  -- since 1950.
These tendencies involve the blurring of the distinctions
between “art” and non-art, between “creative” and critical texts;
the development of intercultural or transcultural forms of
performance; and an increased interaction among the arts.  We will
focus on live performance works that integrate verbal, visual,
auditory and kinesthetic forms of expression. Major concerns will be
the self-referentiality of many of these texts as well as the
disappearance of the “author” and the simultaneous foregrounding of
the environmental, participatory, and concept art. These approaches
will be related to, and contrasted with, new modes of representing,
and criticizing, “reality”. Finally, we shall examine how these
various tendencies have challenged conventional concepts of “art.”

The writers and artists whose works we will study include Antonin
Artaud, Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet, Merce Cunningham, Robert Wilson,
Peter Brook, Ariane Mnouchkine, Ping Chong, Robert LePage, and Ong
Keng Sen.

Undergraduate Assignments:
One 4-5 page paper
Term paper - 8-10 pages
Final exam
In-class research presentation or creative project.

Graduate Assignments:
18-20 page research paper with annotated bibliography