Courses: Carnival and Culture from the Acropolis to Mardi Gras (WRPRH132B01)

Spring 2013

This course will examine carnival and the carnivalesque in several cultural contexts, from the theatre festivals of ancient Greece to Mardi Gras in contemporary New Orleans. How, when, and why do societies create space for carnivalesque performances of masking and celebration? Can such performances incite social change, or do the temporary transgressions of carnival ultimately reinforce existing structures of power? Carnival and Culture will introduce students to an array of carnival practices in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, with a particular focus on the representation of carnival in theatre, film, and television. Course materials will include plays by Euripides, Ben Jonson, Wole Soyinka, and Suzan-Lori Parks; screenings from film and television productions by Marcel Camus, David Simon, and Eric Overmyer; and theoretical and historical studies of carnival by Mikhail Bakhtin, Victor Turner, and Joseph Roach. Frequent writing assignments in a variety of formats will encourage students to explore carnival both as a rich site of cultural formation and as a productive lens for cultural analysis.

Prerequisites: Open only to students as assigned by the Director of the Writing Prograr

Fulfills: HU FW Limit:15


Haverford, Stokes 119

Meeting Times

TTh 2:30-4:00