Course THS/ENG 215: History of Drama/Theater History I
Time Fall 2016, T/Th 3:30-5:10
Location Seney Hall 209
Instructor McKenna Rose
Office Hours Tuesdays 9-11 and by appointment, Oxford Library 131
Contact msrose@emory.edu
Instructor Site mckennarose.org
Course Site animals.mckennarose.org

Course Description

In this course we will engage early drama, and its performance history, through the figure of the animal. The Eagles that figure the fall of the house of Atreus in the Oresteia, the lamb disguised as Christ in The Second Shepherd’s Play, and the dog actor who played Crab in early modern productions of Two Gentlemen of Verona, are just a few examples of the indispensable animals we will investigate in this course on the history of drama from the 5th century BCE to the 17th century CE. In addition to works performed in classical festivals, medieval mystery cycles, and the playhouses of the English Renaissance and Restoration, we will also consider animal performers in less auspicious venues such as circuses, zoos, and baiting-pits. Our inquiry into animals on stages big and small will enable us to ask questions about political philosophy, environmental ethics, and the relative status of man. To answer these questions and help you develop close reading and critical writing skills, you will complete quizzes, create multimedia blog posts, produce a podcast, research and write essays, and design a final presentation. Readings to include The Oresteia, The Wasps, The Shepherds’ Play, The Jew of Malta, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Macbeth, The Witch of Edmonton, and The Country Wife.

Outcomes Description
Analysis Close read verbal, visual, and audio texts from multiple genres and historical periods critically for form, rhetorical features, underlying assumptions, contrast, cultural context, audience, compliment, constraints, and validity


Demonstrate fluency in major concepts in classical, medieval, and early modern drama such as genre; performance; animals studies, and media ecology/bibliography
Persuasion Meet the needs of shifting audiences by composing multimodal texts that make the best choices among argument, description, narrative, synthesis, citation, and design
Collaboration Work in face-to-face and digital groups, and assume key roles in group work