AJ24257 The Theatres of Václav Havel - I

Faculty of Arts
Spring 2018
Extent and Intensity
0/2/0. 2 credit(s) (plus 3 credits for an exam). Recommended Type of Completion: zk (examination). Other types of completion: z (credit).
James Joseph Little, M.Phil., Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. Jana Chamonikolasová, Ph.D.
Department of English and American Studies - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Tomáš Hanzálek
Supplier department: Department of English and American Studies - Faculty of Arts
Wed 10:50–12:25 G22
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 20 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 0/20, only registered: 0/20, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/20
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 18 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
Students on this course will study the dramatic writing of one of Central and Eastern Europe’s most important cultural figures in the context of modern European and American drama. Working from an understanding of the political situation in which Havel wrote, we will read his plays alongside those by playwrights who inspired Havel to start his own theatre career (Ionesco; Beckett), compare his work to that of writers with whom he had important working relationships (Beckett; Stoppard) and analyse his dramatic writing alongside that of his Central and Eastern European antecedents and contemporaries (Brecht, Čapek, Mrożek). In addition, we will investigate parallels between Havel’s work and other modern dramatic representations of incarceration (Genet) and self-alienation (Adamov; Pinter). The course will run in two parts: Part I in the spring semester; Part II in the winter semester. Students are welcome to take one or both parts.
Learning outcomes
This comparative approach will allow us to examine broader questions related to Havel’s dramatic style: Can Havel be included as part of what Martin Esslin termed the ‘theatre of the absurd’? How do Havel’s representations of key intellectual topics of the 20th century such as self-alienation and a perceived estrangement from language compare to those of his theatrical contemporaries? How might we imagine future stagings of Havel’s work?
  • Week 1: An Introduction to the Theatre of the Absurd
    Week 2: Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot (1953)
    Week 3: Havel, The Garden Party (1963)
    Week 4: Beckett, Endgame (1957)
    Week 5: Karel Čapek, R.U.R (1921)
    Week 6: Sławomir Mrożek, Tango (1968)
    Week 7: Havel, The Memorandum (1965)
    Week 8: Eugène Ionesco, The Lesson (1951)
    Week 9: Havel, The Increased Difficulty of Concentration (1968)
    Week 10: Bertolt Brecht, The Threepenny Opera (1928)
    Week 11: Havel, The Beggar’s Opera (1975)
Assessment methods
Students will be assessed on an end-of-term essay of 2,500 words, written according to a recognised style guide of their choice. (The MHRA Style Guide is available here: www.mhra.org.uk/pdf/MHRA-Style-Guide-3rd-Edn.pdf.) Active participation in class discussion required in order to receive a credit for the course. It is crucial that you bring the primary texts (in print or digital form) to class so we can discuss them each week.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
Information on course enrolment limitations: Předmět si nemohou zapsat studenti Bc. studia AJ
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Spring 2018, recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/phil/spring2018/AJ24257