AJ24258 The Theatres of Václav Havel - II

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 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 10:00–11:40 G25
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: 2/20, 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 self-alienation (Adamov; Pinter). The course will run in two parts: Part I in the spring semester; Part II in the winter semester. Students can take one or both parts.
Learning outcomes
Our comparative approach will allow us to examine the following 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: Re-Introducing the Absurd; re-introducing Havel
  • Week 2: Havel, Audience (1975); Havel, Unveiling (1975); Havel, Protest (1978)
  • Week 3: Tom Stoppard, Rock ‘n’ Roll (2006)
  • Week 4: Samuel Beckett, Catastrophe (1982); Havel, Mistake (1983)
  • Week 5: Havel, Largo Desolato (1984)
  • Week 6: Stoppard, Professional Foul (1977)
  • Week 7: Václav Havel, Temptation (1985)
  • Week 8: Arthur Adamov, Professor Taranne (1953)
  • Week 9: Havel, Redevelopment (1987)
  • Week 10: Harold Pinter, The Dumb Waiter (1960)
  • Week 11: Havel, Leaving (2007)
  • NOTE: There will be no class on 10 October. This class has been rescheduled for Wednesday 14 November (during Reading Week) at the same time (10:00–11:40) in the same classroom (G 25).
Teaching methods
All primary texts will be available in the learning materials section of the IS course page as PDFs. It is crucial that you bring the primary texts (in print or digital form) to class so we can discuss them each week.
Discussion questions will be sent out prior to class. Aside from week 1, each class will feature a short presentation (10–15 minutes) by members of the class.
Assessment methods
Students will be assessed on an end-of-term essay of 2,500 words, written according to MLA Style. Active participation in class discussion and the giving of a presentation is required in order to receive a credit for the course.
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 Autumn 2019.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2018, recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/phil/autumn2018/AJ24258