Studies in Modern Drama

Studies in Modern Drama
English 312

Dr. Brianne Jaquette
Office: C3
Office Hours: M/W 2-4
Class Time/Location: MW 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM, COB Main – Oakes Fld/Education Block/E6

Course Description:

This course examines modern world theatre from the 1890s to the present. Students will become familiar with the philosophies, aesthetics and ideologies that inform modern drama, and will critique texts on the basis of form and modern drama. By the end of the course, students will be able to assess the major artistic movements and evaluate the links between major historical social, and political events and the production of modern drama.


Upon successful completing of this course, students will be able to:

  1. assess the major artistic movements, theories of the theatre, philosophical outlooks and ideological frameworks that have given direction to the modern drama of the world
  2. evaluate the links between major historical, social and political events of the twentieth century and the production of modern drama
  3. critique a variety of modern plays on their thematic preoccupations, aesthetic approaches and ideological orientations
  4. evaluate major works of modern theatre on the basis of their approach to the conventions of modern comedy, tragedy, and tragicomedy
  5. apply literary theories to the analysis of modern dramatic works


  1. Gainor et al. The Norton Anthology of Drama. Vol. 2. New York: Norton, 2009.
  2. Selected articles handed out as PDFs.

Classroom Policies:

Email Policy:

I check my email regularly, but you should not wait until the last minute to try to contact me via email. I know that many of you do not use your UB emails. If this is the case, it is your responsibility to provide me with an email that you use regularly. Not using your email is not an excuse for missing announcements. I will answer all emails within 24 hours during the week and 48 hours during the weekend. If you have questions about an assignment, I would prefer to speak with you in person, either during my office hours or through a scheduled meeting. Email me to schedule meetings or ask specific questions about assignments; email one of your peers if you miss class.

Phone Policy:

Do not use your phone or text in class. If I see you using your phone, I will ask you to put it away. If I repeatedly have to ask you to stop using your phone, I may ask you to leave the classroom.

Late Work:

Papers that are not turned in at the exact time they are due are late. If an assignment is to be turned in online, it cannot be emailed to me. If it is not turned in properly, it will not count as turned in. Revised copies of papers cannot be turned in, once they have been uploaded.

I expect all assignments to be handed in at the time they are due. Any late writing assignments will be marked down one step after the day and time they are due.  For example, if a paper is due at the beginning of class and it is turned in halfway through class time, it is considered late. If a paper is due online at 11:59 pm, if it is turned in after that, it is considered late. A late paper will lose 5% of the grade, and then 5% for each subsequent day it is late. This pattern will continue for one week. Papers will not be accepted one week after the due date.

You can receive an extension until the next class period (on Wednesdays I will extend the deadline until Friday) on a paper if you ask for that extension more than 24 hours in advance.  You must ask for an extension specifically. And you can only receive two extensions per course. If there is an emergency or some extenuating circumstance, please let me know in advance, and we will work something out. It is important that you let me know as soon as you can if there are extenuating circumstances. I can’t make adjustments for you if I don’t know what is going on. This does not mean you need to send me x-rays of your broken arm, for example, but please keep me informed.


I will take attendance daily and expect you to be in class on time. This class is not a lecture class and requires active participation. Active participation involves bringing your materials to class, staying focused on the lesson, and engaging in class discussion. Because you will often be working with your peers in class your failure to attend will affect not only you but also the other students. You are late if the lesson has begun when you enter, and if you are more than 15 minutes late I will mark you as absent.


I will expect that everything you write in the class will be written exclusively by you and that the claims you make will be your original claims. Turning in another person’s writing or ideas as your own—whether in whole or in part—is a serious academic offense that can result in a failing grade in the class and/or expulsion from the university. I will be applying the university-wide policy on plagiarizing: If you are caught plagiarizing, you will receive a warning the first time and your plagiarized work won’t be graded. If you are caught a second time, you will fail the assignment.


Language Resource Centre:

Tutoring services are available through the Learning Resource Centre, Room F-8. Visit the centre or e-mail for assistance.

UB Library:

Know it. Love it.  The internet is not the only tool for finding resources. The sooner you are comfortable researching in the library the smoother your academic career will be.

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL):

OWL is an excellent writing resource that covers a variety of steps in the writing process from planning to research.

Course Components:

Writing Assignments (Blog Directions (blog-groups) and In-class Writing): 100 points
Paper One: 100 points
Paper Two: 150 points
Final Presentation and Paper: 150 points
Total: 500 points

UB Grading Scale:

Grade Number Range Grade Points
A 90-100 4.00
A- 85-89 3.75
B+ 80-84 3.50
B 75-79 3.00
B- 70-74 2.75
C+ 65-69 2.50
C 60-64 2.00
C- 55-59 1.75
D 50-54 1.00
F 0-49 0.00

Course Breakdown:

Grade Totals
450-500 A
425-449 A-
400-424 B+
375-399 B
350-374 B-
325-349 C+
300-324 C
275-299 C-
250-274 D
0-249     F

Course Calendar: