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EN226 - Drama and Democracy

  • Module code: EN226
  • Module name: Drama and Democracy
  • Department: English and Comparative Literary Studies
  • Credit: 30

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

This module looks at major English-language plays written since the beginning of the twentieth century. We shall examine theatre in Ireland, the USA and South Africa to investigate some of the ways writers have dramatised political, racial, class and gender issues and have tried to foster a sense of community and intervene in history. Developments in theatrical form will be studied as vehicles for ideas. The work of designers, directors from Elia Kazan to Barney Simon and actors from Paul Robeson to Yvonne Bryceland will be considered alongside the texts, and video performances will be screened wherever possible. Each section of the module will be introduced with an illustrated contextual lecture given by a twentieth-century historian to provide a compact guide to culture, politics, and social movements in Ireland, South Africa and the U.S., and to get you thinking about the public impact of performance.

Principal learning outcomes

This module examines the social and political ideas of leading dramatists and theatre practitioners in twentieth-century North America, Ireland and South Africa. Students will examine plays - and where possible, film or video productions - to see how changing attitudes to imperialism, class, race and gender have been reflected in drama. At the heart of the module is the shifting relationship between theatre and social change.

Timetabled teaching activities

Weekly sessions/workshops.

Departmental link

Other essential notes

This module is compulsory for second year English and Theatre Studies students

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
30 CATS (Module code: EN226-30)
C (Assessed/examined work) Assessed Course Work 25%
Assessed Course Work 25%
Examination - Main Summer Exam Period (weeks 4-9) 50%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

  • Undergraduate English and Theatre Studies (QW34) - Year 2
Optional Core


  • Undergraduate Film and Literature (QW25) - Year 3