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 jwilli79@depaul.edu.

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.

Course Listings for 2016-2017 Now Available!

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The weather outside is delightful and we’re sure the last thing on your mind is back to school next fall! But it’s not too late to start planning, especially because course carts open today!

Check out course listings (which are subject to change and will continually be updated – see the date at the top of the PDF) up at the COURSES tab. Happy planning!

Spring Quarter Registration Begins this Monday, February 8th


It’s already midterm time, so you know what that means: time to register for spring quarter courses!

The Department of English offers a number of fascinating and useful courses for majors, minors, and non-ENG students. Some highlights are below, and all course offerings and descriptions are available via the COURSES drop-down menu at the top of the page.

  • ENG 275: Literature & Film – Crime Fiction & Film Noir with Chris Eagle. Examine “noir”, the cycle of cinema and fiction focusing on crime and detective stories spanning from roughly 1941-1958.
  • ENG 362: American Literature from 1865-1920 with June Chung. Examine American fiction written during the latter half of the nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth century, roughly the period spanning from after the Civil War up through World War I. Authors covered include Henry James, Edith Wharton, W.E.B. Du Bois, Zitkala Sa, Mark Twain, Theodore Dreiser, Kate Chopin, and T.S. Eliot.
  • ENG 387: Topics in Contemporary Literature – Queer Literature, Film, & Theory with Bill Johnson-Gonzalez. This course provides an introduction to the still-growing field of queer theory, which emerged in the 1980s as a means of questioning stable categories of identity and examining the historically changing meanings of gender and sexuality in culture.

We look forward to seeing you in these or any other English classes next term!

Summer 2016 Course Descriptions Now Available!


Hello, English students! I know it doesn’t seem like it now, in the throes of January, but summer will be here before you know it. Lucky for you, we’ve just added the Summer 2016 course descriptions to the Underground for your perusal. Click on COURSES above and select Summer 2016 from the drop-down menu. Happy shopping!


Winter Quarter Course Update; Study Joyce, Yeats, and the Irish Revival!

We hope you are enjoying your winter break! If you are taking December Intersession courses, hopefully you’re learning a lot and studying hard!

A heads up that a new course has been added to the Winter Quarter offerings: ENG 354/ 382 The Irish Revival: Joyce and Yeats. The course can also count for ENG 350 credit. See the description below!

*The course is taught by James Murphy and meets Monday/Wednesday 2:40-4:10*

The Irish Revival was one of the most exciting periods in literary history, raising issues of national identity and cultural mobilization that resonate more broadly. It also produced some of the greatest writers in the English language, most notably the poet W.B. Yeats and the novelist James Joyce.

W.B. Yeats

In the three decades before Irish independence in 1922 Ireland underwent an enormous cultural revival. Attempts were made to turn the dying Irish language into a living vernacular, to revive the Irish countryside through the co-operative movement and to revitalise nationalist politics in a variety of ways. It was an era of polemic over what it meant to be Irish and how a ‘Celtic’ or Gaelic element might fit into that identity, as urban intellectuals turned their imaginations to the impoverished and hitherto neglected west of Ireland as a source for cultural energy.

James Joyce

A group of Anglo-Irish writers including W.B. Yeats, J.M Synge and Lady Gregory attempted to create a new Irish poetry and drama in the English language, particularly through the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. They encountered opposition from those who suspected their motives and provenance in the former ruling class, the Protestant Ascendancy.   This course examines the Irish Revival and pays particular attention to the work of Synge and of Yeats. It traces Yeats’s later career as a great poet and the perennial but problematic presence in his poetry of his beloved Maud Gonne, the political radical.

The course also explores the work of two fiction writers of the time, James Joyce and George Moore. Joyce stood apart from the revival and struggled with the legacy of the Dublin from which he had come and which he saw as a centre of paralysis in order to forge an artistic identity for himself. Moore had initially been part of the revival but then became a skeptic.

Glenn Close as Albert Nobbs

Since the recent film, ‘Albert Nobbs’ (2011), with Glenn Close, there has been renewed interest in his fiction, much of which explores issue of gender and sexuality.

Apply for the 2015-2016 Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar!

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We are pleased to call to the attention all motivated undergraduate students, especially those who may be considering graduate study, the Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar.  The topic of this year’s seminar is:

Break the Chains: Revolt, Rebellion, and Resistance in the World of Atlantic Slavery

Some basic information about the seminar:

  • The seminar is team taught by instructors from different disciplines.  This year the instructors are Dr. John Donahue (Loyola University, History) and Dr. Jeffrey Glover (Loyola University, English).
  • Twenty students participate in the seminar, five from each of the following universities: DePaul, Loyola, UIC, and Roosevelt.
  • This is a semester-long seminar that meets at the Newberry Library, January 12 through May 5, 2016, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00–5:00pm.
  • For DePaul students the seminar counts for 9 credit hours (4.5 for Winter Quarter and 4.5 for Spring Quarter).  These credits will count for classes in two departments, to be determined by the student and his or her advisor.
  • The course fulfills the JYEL requirement for those who need it.
  • During the first part of the course students investigate topics related to the seminar’s theme and work with the various types of resources that the Newberry has to offer.  Then, under the guidance of the instructors and using primary sources from the Newberry, they select a topic to explore and develop into a research paper and presentation.  (Students must complete the semester-long course to receive credit for either quarter.)
  • DePaul applicants should go ahead and register for WQ 2016 as they would otherwise.  They should, however, be ready to drop one course and make TTH afternoons available if they are accepted into the program.  They will know by Thanksgiving whether or not they have been accepted.
  • The deadline for the application is Monday, October 19, 2015.

The application can be accessed here. Contact Professor Glen Carman, Department of Modern Languages with any questions.