Department of English

Minou Arjomand


Assistant ProfessorPhD, 2013, Columbia University

Minou Arjomand

Contact

Interests


twentieth and twenty-first century theatre, performance studies, aesthetic and political philosophy, opera

Courses


E 369 • Twentieth-Century Drama

35175 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 1.212

E 369  l  Twentieth-Century Drama

 

Instructor:  Arjomand, M

Unique #:  35175

Semester:  Fall 2019

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

 

Description: “Art is not a mirror held up to realitybut a hammer with which to shape it.” ―Bertolt Brecht

 

Over the course of the twentieth century, playwrights, performers and directors have turned to theater as a way not only to reflect on the world around them, but to change it.  Over the course of the semester we will read plays and watch performances that sought to intervene in the major social and political upheavals of the twentieth century, including the Bolshevik Revolution, First and Second World War, anti-colonial struggles, and civil rights and feminist movements.  We will study both dramatic texts and videos of performances, and learn about developments in modern techniques of acting, directing, and stage design.

 

Texts: Lorca, The House of Bernarda Alba;Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard; Stanislavski, An Actor Prepares; The Living Newspaper,Injunction Granted;Brecht, The Good Person of Szechuan; Artaud, Theater and its Double;Williams,A Streetcar Named Desire; Soyinka, Death and the King’s Horseman; Valdez, Zoot Suit Riot; Smith, Twilight L.A.;Parks, The America Play.

 

Requirement & Grading:  Attendance and participation (20%), weekly discussion postings of c. 200 words (20%), group project (10%), two 5-6-page papers (35%), and final exam (15%).

E 397M • Theatre And Revolution

36030 • Fall 2018
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM CAL 323
(also listed as T D 387D)

Theatres and Revolution

The Belgian revolution of 1830 began in an opera house: as singers performed a revolutionary duet on stage, riots broke out in the audience, spilling onto the street. Twenty years later, Karl Marx would famously describe the French Revolutions of 1789 and 1848 as theatre on the world stage, performed first as tragedy, and revived as farce. In this course, we will study the relationship between revolutionary theatre and theatrical revolutions. Why have so many philosophers used theatre as a metaphor to discuss (and often dismiss) revolutionary politics? And why have theatre artists claimed that theatre and performance is more apt than any other art at enacting revolutionary change? Over the semester we will pair works of drama and political philosophy, from Plato and Aristophanes, to Hannah Arendt and Bertolt Brecht, to Jacques Racière and Suzan-Lori Parks.

E S350R • War/Lit In 20th-C Brit-Gbr

81445 • Summer 2018

E s350R  l  War and Literature in Twentieth-Century Britain-GBR

 

Instructor:  Arjomand, M

Unique #:  81445

Semester:  Summer 2018, second session

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  Oxford Summer Program participants

Computer Instruction:  No

 

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

 

Description:  In this course, will discuss works about life and love in the aftermath of war, including Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley's Lover, and Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited as well as performance and visual art from the interwar period.  We will discuss both the consequences of the First World War for British society and also the growing currents of political unrest in the 1930s.  Class trips will include a walking tour through central London following in the footsteps of Mrs. Dalloway, visits to Oxford sites featured in Waugh's novel, an overnight trip to see D.H. Lawrence’s childhood home in Nottingham, and finally a visit to the Tate Modern museum to see the exhibition “Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War I.”

 

Requirements & Grading:  Students will be graded based on class participation (30%), an oral presentation (20%), and ten journal entries (5% each).

E 379L • Contemporary Drama

35185 • Spring 2018
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM PAR 204

E 379L  l  Contemporary Drama

 

Instructor:  Arjomand, M

Unique #:  35185

Semester:  Spring 2018

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

 

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

 

Description:  Welcome to Contemporary Drama.  In this course, we will study the major trends and developments in twentieth and twenty-first century drama.  Our classes will include a close study of dramatic texts, staging design, and performance techniques.

 

Required Texts: 

You are required to purchase, rent, or borrow print editions of the following books.  You will need to bring the book to class so please plan ahead.  You are expected to bring the readings to class every day.

 

  • The Norton Anthology of Drama (second edition), vol 2: The Nineteenth Century to the Present (ISBN: 9780393921526)
  • Antonin Artaud, Theatre and its Double (ISBN: 9780802150301)
  • Jean Genet, The Balcony (ISBN: 9780802150349)
  • Additional readings will be posted online, and must be printed and brought to class.

 

Requirements & Grading:  Your final grade will be calculated as follows:  Class Participation: 20%; Discussion board postings: 20%; Group presentation: 10%; Paper 1: 15%; Paper 2: 20%; Final Exam: 15%.

E 359 • Brit Drama From 1660 To 1900

35635 • Fall 2017
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 204

E 359 • English Drama from 1660-1900

 

Instructor:  Arjomand, M

Unique #:  35635

Semester:  Fall 2017

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

 

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

 

Description:  

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

 – William Shakespeare (1603)

 

“The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.”

– Oscar Wilde (1891)

 

Shakespeare and Wilde are among the many playwrights and philosophers who have noticed an affinity between the stage and public life.  If the whole world is a stage, then what particular role does theatre play in reflecting, satirizing, and challenging the ways that people act in society?

 

In this course, we will focus on how theatre responded to major social, economic, and political changes in the period from 1660-1900 (including colonialism, the Middle Passage, the rise of capitalism, revolutionary upheavals, abolitionism, and feminism).  In particular, we will ask:  who gets to play which roles on stage and in public life? How does theatre challenge or legitimize the way that roles are cast in society? Can revolutions start in the theatre?

 

We will study dramatic texts alongside contemporary stage design and acting techniques.  We will also bring the works into conversation with current theatre, watching recent adaptations of the works we study and, when possible, visiting live performances during the semester.  No previous experience with theatre is required.

 

Texts:  tentative readings include Dryden, All for Love;Behn, The Rover; Centlivre, The Busie Body; Gay, The Beggar’s Opera; Lillo, The London Merchant; Planché, The Vampire; Boucicault, The Octoroon; Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest; Shaw, Mrs. Warren’s Profession.

 

Requirements & Grading:  attendance and participation in class discussion (15%); 200-word weekly reading responses (25%), group project (20%); two papers, one 5 pages (15%) and one 7 pages (25%).

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