IC Honors Seminar Spotlight: Staging History in Modern Drama

English professor Claire Gleitman is teaching a seminar focusing on 20th and 21st century plays about how the human past is represented.

Describe your seminar in one sentence. This seminar focuses on a number of modern and contemporary playwrights, and one screenwriter, whose work explores whether it is possible to look backwards at the past and reconstruct it fully, feelingly, accurately and objectively (terms, we will find, that often prove to be at odds with one another).

Describe your classroom style in one sentence.My classroom style is entirely discussion-based; I do not lecture, and I hope for active participation from all students.”

What is one thing you hope students will take away from your seminar? “‘…everything is mixing the same way, all the time, irreversibly…./Oh, we have time, I think/….till there’s no time left.’ Sorry to be cryptic: that’s a line from one of the plays we’ll read together.  Students in the seminar will come to understand what it means and how it applies to all of our plays and also – well – to everything.”

What is one piece of advice you would give to students? “Do the reading regularly and carefully, come to class prepared to express your ideas but also willing to have your mind changed by the ideas of others, and you’ll have a positive experience in this course.”

Check out the entire list of seminars here and all the seminar spotlights here.