Autumn 2016 Course Spotlight

Hi everyone,

We’re going to snap you out of exams mode for a moment to remind you about the upcoming autumn quarter.

If you haven’t yet selected your autumn English courses, worry not – there’s still plenty of exciting and enriching offerings available. Today we’d like to highlight Prof. Chris Eagle’s ENG 379 – Disability in Literature. See the full description via Prof. Eagle below:

For roughly three decades now, Disability Studies (or Disability Theory) has made its impact felt across the Humanities by challenging prevailing notions of the normal or able body and focusing our attention on the lived experiences of disabled individuals. Our primary goal in this course will be to understand how insights from the history and theory of disability can be critically applied to works of literature and film. Some of the issues this will raise in our discussions include the following: questions of identity related to the disabled body, the relation of disability activism to other forms of identity politics (race, class, and gender), the socially-constructed status of the normal or able body, the difference between social and medical models of disability, and the role that cultural representations play in assigning meaning to disability, illness, and disease. We will apply these questions to fictional narratives, poetry, and films which portray a variety of different physical and mental disabilities including paralysis, deformity, disfiguration, locked-in syndrome, schizophrenia, mutism, blindness, and deafness.

Understanding the perspectives of people of all types is one of the primary benefits of a Humanities major. This course looks like an excellent way to learn more about underrepresented members of society.

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Drama, Drama, Drama: Theatre School Courses for English Majors

"Don't You Want to be Free?" script

English students,

The Theatre School at DePaul and the English Department want to alert you to several Fall 2016 Theatre courses, open to non-Theatre majors, that focus on dramatic literature. The courses don’t count for ENG credit, but might make for appealing open electives. It’s a great opportunity to study among the students and professors of one of the world’s best schools of theater. See the descriptions below, and please note that if you’d like to enroll you’ll need to contact Jeanne Williams, the TS Coordinator of Academic Services, at

In-yer-face theatre is a phenomenon of theatre in the UK in the 1990s as a response to the form of traditional British drama of the 70s and 80s, as a criticism of Thatcher’s England, and as a means of taking theatre and performance to a visceral and visual level. The course examines plays written by those generally acknowledged to be in-yer-face playwrights. Establishing a definition of in-yer-face theatre is the overriding goal of the course. Note: Plays that are labeled “in-yer-face” are often plays that contain adult language, adult situations, and violence.

The course will investigate traditional and non-traditional texts —including drama, solo performance, performance art, museum theatre, and visual arts— for purposes of uncovering the identity, heritage, and culture within these texts for performance. The
course is both a traditional class to learn tools for analysis and a studio lab to create, develop, and devise new works.

Separated by half a century, these two writers seem on the surface near opposites but in fact they share worldviews. Both write plays about regular people–not kings– doing regular things and suffering in regular ways. Both writers challenged conventional
ideas of theatre in their era, including ideas about how time, space, and action should work on the stage. Both writers defied conventional ideas about genre–the idea that comedy should be funny and tragedy should be sad. Both writers created entirely
new forms of dramatic writing. This class will introduce students to the theatres of these two genius writers.