Greek Tragedy from Ancient Athens to Ferguson

This course will consider Greek tragedy, its ancient context, and modern responses by focusing on the three canonical Greek tragedians: Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. We will also incorporate comparative readings from the history of drama and philosophy. Dramatic authors include Aristophanes, Seneca, Racine, Wole Soyinka, Sarah Kane, Anne Carson; philosophical authors include Plato, Aristotle, Hegel, Nietzsche. The course will conclude by considering recent activist uses of Greek tragedy, such as The Medea Project and Antigone in Ferguson.

Sample reading list:
Lefkowitz and Romm, eds, The Greek Plays

Reading/Writing assignments:
Reading of 2 plays/week, plus supplementary articles and theoretical readings. Writing: Regular postings to internet forum; 2 close reading exercises (5-7pp.); 2 review exercises (3-5pp.). Final project: essay (10-12pp.) or creative project (translation, adaptation, staging designs, film scenario, etc.).

Other information:
Course will be taught as a mixture of lecture, plenary discussions, and smaller-group discussion. Regular film screenings and (if possible) theatrical performances.




Tuesdays & Thursdays
1:30 - 2:50 pm


Joshua Billings