French and Italian | Théatre et essai
F305 | 2336 | Prof. Eric MacPhail


In this course we will read plays and essays from the 17th century to
the present. We will begin with Pierre Corneille's tragedy
Cinna followed by Molière's comedy Amphitryon. After
reviewing the two plays, we will take a test on them. Then we will
read the enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot's Paradoxe sur le
comédien and some essays on art and modernity by the 19th-century
poet Charles Baudelaire. Students will do a classroom presentation and
a 4 to 5 page essay on a topic of their choice relating either to
Diderot or Baudelaire. There will be an opportunity to rewrite the
essays. We return to the theater with Alfred Jarry's Ubu roi,
on which we will have a test or some other graded exercise. Finally,
we will read some essays by the political anthropologist Pierre
Clastres on the archaeology of violence and the relationship between
warfare and the state.  These essays will be the subject of the final
exam.