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EN926 - The British Dramatist in Society:1965-1995

  • Module code: EN926
  • Module name: The British Dramatist in Society:1965-1995
  • Department: English and Comparative Literary Studies
  • Credit: 20, 30, 36, 45

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

This module examines the work of a number of leading British and Irish playwrights from the period of Wilson and Vietnam to the present day, via the rise of Thatcher and the end of the Cold War. There will be a focus on modes of historical and documentary drama, taking in new work at theatres in the region. We shall examine scripts for both theatre and television and consider the relationship between social change and developments in dramatic form as well as content. The plays explore new definitions of sanity and madness; the relationship between class, the family and the individual; the appropriation of myth and High Culture; the rewriting of history; and shifting concepts of culture, whether Marxist, feminist or postmodern. Seminars will focus on the development of one playwright’s work and social thinking, or on one political/ethical issue and several dramatists’ response to it. It is hoped that the texts will emerge as elements in a set of evolving national debates.

Principal learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should have: Become familiar with the work of a number of dramatists writing for British theatre and television since the mid-1960s; Considered the relationship between British drama and social change during the period; Considered the theatrical consequences of major political developments. national and international; Investigated ways in which recent British and Irish dramatic writing has responded to changing notions of national, class and regional identity and to shifting perspectives on race and gender; Explored the theatrical application of a number of theoretical writings, including the influence of Williams, Hoggart and Cixous; Considered modes of historical and documentary theatre; Acquired expertise in reading dramatic texts, with particular attention to conditions of performance; Developed your oral and presentational skills in seminar discussions and presentations; Identified a topic for further research and critical investigation.

Timetabled teaching activities

Teaching is seminar-based, with weekly 2-hour sessions, plus regular video screenings.

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
20 CATS (Module code: EN926-20)
A (Assessed work only) Assessed Course Work 100%
30 CATS (Module code: EN926-30)
A (Assessed work only) Assessed Course Work 100%
36 CATS (Module code: EN926-36)
A (Assessed work only) Assessed Course Work 100%
45 CATS (Module code: EN926-45)
A (Assessed work only) Assessed Course Work 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • in World Literature (Q2PE) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught English Literature (Q3P1) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Philosophy and Literature (V7P7) - Year 2