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Innovators in British Drama: Pinter, Churchill, Stoppard: graded paper

Class at Faculty of Arts |



Week 1 (24.2)


Week 2 (3.3)

Pinter: The Caretaker, The Dumb Waiter

Week 3 (10.3)

Pinter: The Lover, Monologue, Family Voices

Week 4 (17.3)

Pinter: Mountain Language, Ashes to Ashes

Week 5 (24.3)


Week 6 (31.3)

Churchill: Top Girls, Cloud Nine

Week 7 (7.4)

Churchill: Serious Money, Mad Forest, The Skriker

Week 8 (14.4)

Churchill: A Number, Seven Jewish Children

Week 9 (21.4)

Stoppard: Jumpers, The Real Inspector Hound

Week 10 (28.4)

Stoppard: Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Professional Foul, Rock ?N? Roll

Week 11 (5.5)

Stoppard: Arcadia, Indian Ink

Week 12 (12.5)

Stoppard: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Screening


Course Description:

This course offers students an opportunity to investigate the work of three of Britain?s most influential playwrights post-1956 in an extended and detailed manner. Pinter, Stoppard and Churchill have all played pivotal roles in British theatre, each producing a theatre that, in contrasting ways, explores the modalities of language and theatricality. Pinter, Stoppard and Churchill have each had remarkably long careers: Pinter began in the late 1950s and his final work Celebration was produced in 2000; Stoppard?s breakthrough work Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead was first performed in 1966, his latest play, Rock ?n? Roll appeared in 2006; Churchill?s first full play, Owners, was staged in 1972 while her most recent work, Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?, was published in 2006. Over the course of the semester we will study their work in depth with a view to understanding their methods, their ideas about theatre, the development of their work and their influence on subsequent playwrights.

Course requirements:

Students are expected to attend classes, read the materials assigned and to participate in discussions. Each student will give a 15 to 25 minute presentation.


Participation extends beyond mere attendance. Expect your instructor to keep track of how often you contribute to class discussion (as a whole), particularly during the class discussions of assigned readings. Each week students should prepare short responses to the assigned reading.


Presentations should address a specific issue connected with the author in question. Each presentation should be between 15 and 20 minutes. You may prepare your talk in bullet points and include questions for further discussion. You may also prepare handouts or use the video or overhead projector to present your material. Try to avoid just reading out large chunks of text ? think of your audience (!) and aim to generate discussion?


A list of possible essay topics will be distributed during the semester. Students need to email me an abstract, including a thesis statement, for their final essay after they have chosen a topic. My email address is

Final essays for Credit (Záp.) should be 3000 words for MA students, 2000-2500 words for BA students.

Final essays for Grade (PP) should be 4500-5000 words (MA students only).

Please let me know which you would like in advance and write it on the title page of the paper. Also please write your email address on the title page of your paper so that I can contact you.

Deadline: Essays should be submitted by 12 June 2009. If you require an extension you need to write to me in advance and explain why you need more time, but given the deadline I should hope this will not be necessary.

Final essays should combine both close analysis of selected primary texts and secondary materials. Heavy reliance on the internet should be avoided. Please pay attention to correct citation procedures. MLA format for citations and bibliographies is required (models can be found in the library, the departmental Study Guide and on the internet?See

All papers should include:

§ A title page (with your email address and if you are a visiting student the date by which you must have the credit)

§ Numbered pages and double spacing

§ Clearly marked paragraphs (either indent or leave a line)

§ Properly formatted sources and bibliography


Grading Scheme

Attendance and Participation 20%

Presentation 30%

Final Essay 50%

Letter Grade Percent (%) Generally Accepted Meaning

A 96-100 Outstanding work

A- 90-95

B+ 87-89 Good work, distinctly above average

B 83-86

B- 80-82

C+ 77-79 Acceptable work

C 73-76

C- 70-72

D+ 67-69 Work that is significantly below average

D 63-66

D- 60-62

F 0-59 Work that does not meet minimum standards for passing the course

Study programmes