Class Meeting Times

1:00-1:50 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, in Henkel 108

Friday, December 13, 2013

Comic Drama Conference Conference 12.13.13

Welcome to the English 361 Comic Drama Conference Conference 12.13.13. During our final exam period, our class is holding a conference comprised of the students' seminar papers. Each paper has been targeted to an actual professional conference; hence, our "conference" conference. This assignment is intended to professionalize students by teaching them how to target and present their work to specific, educated peer audiences.

Comic Drama Conference Conference 12.13.13 Panel Topics and Presenters

Panel 1: Intentional Confusions

1. A.J. Goodwin, Deceptive Disguises in Jonson and Shakespeare
2. Genevieve Arens, "The Absurd Notion of Time"

Panel 2: Tragic Questions in Comedy: Divinity, Afterlife, and Evil

1. Ashley Benjamin, A Break from Reality in Noises Off and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
2. Caroline Madden, "History’s Views on Death Influence Theatre"
3. Ashley Harris, "The God in Godot"
4. Sarah Parker, The Nature of Evil in Comedy

Panel 3: Theoretical Explorations in Comedy

1. Eric Huber, "Happiness in Servitude: The Anti-Marxist Paradox in British Comic Drama"
2. Alyssa Sfarnas, "Female Gender Roles in Comic Drama"
3. Sara Felipe, "Women in Comedy"
4. Hilary McKenzie, "Thinking Gender: Does Equality Really Exist?"

Panel 4: Significant Absences and Alternative Presences

1. Aubrey Lawrence, The Unsaid in Waiting for Godot
2. Carissa Helm, "Missing Characters"
3. Amanda Edlow, "It's a Small World After All"
4. Brooke Hahne, "Rewriting Shakespeare’s Plays For and by the Contemporary Stage: Keeping the Flame of Shakespeare Alive"

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Novelist and Holocaust scholar R. Clifton Spargo to Give Two Talks on Monday, October 28, 2013

Novelist and Holocaust scholar R. Clifton Spargo to Give Two Talks on Monday, October 28, 2013. 

1:00-1:50 p.m., in Henkel Hall 108: Guest lecture in Dr. Michelle Brown's upper-level literature class: discussing the writing life and his work. Spargo's most recent novel is Beautiful Fools, The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. Visitors welcome.

2:00–2:50 p.m. in the Stimpson Auditorium, Halpin-Harrison Hall: Keynote Lecture and First Year Seminar Common Event sponsored by Dr. Petra Schweitzer's class: "The (Extra)ordinary Artfulness of Holocaust Testimony." This public talk (with Q&A built in) traces the desire, to speak in and across time, that informs all literary language. The occasion of witness under the circumstances of extreme suffering reveals the testimonial imperative in language itself. This FYS Common Event is co-sponsored by The Campus Outreach Lecture Program of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, supported by the Anne and Harry Chinitz Campus Outreach Lecture Fund and the Shenandoah University Department of English. FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the doctoral program in literature at Yale, Spargo writes “The HI/ LO” for The Huffington Post. He has published two books of criticism with the Johns Hopkins University Press and co-edited, with Robert Ehrenreich, After Representation?: The Holocaust, Literature, and Culture. His stories and essays have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Antioch Review, Commonweal, the Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. He currently teaches at the University of Iowa, as the Provost’s Visiting Writer in Fiction. SponsoreGlimmer Train, Raritan, Yale Review, Commonweal, the Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. He currently teaches at the University of Iowa, as the Provost’s Visiting Writer in Fiction. Sponsored by the Department of English and the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.

SU English is on Facebook

Look for a feature on our class trip to the American Shakespeare Centre!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Want to Join a Psych Study?

Two of Dr. Scott King's Independent Research students are recruiting for studies (see descriptions below). Christina's requires an in-person visit and rewards participants with a $10 gift card. Julie's is online with no reward.

Christina Graham's: Looking for extra cash? It’s Facebook official! Senior psychology student, Christina Graham, is looking for SU students 18 and over who are active Facebook users to take part in a psychology study. The study lasts approximately 30 minutes and requires an in-person visit to a conference room in HHH. The first 100 participants will receive a $10 Amazon gift card. This is an IRB approved study under the supervision of Dr. Scott King. Please click here to sign up and choose an appointment time.

Julie Patterson's: Julie Patterson, a senior Psychology major at SU, is hoping to find participants to take a unique, online survey about social media. All you need is a computer and “a good pair of eyes”. Wondering what that means? Take this survey to find out! This study has been approved by the Shenandoah University IRB and is being performed under the supervision of Dr. Scott King. To take the survey, click here.

World Food Day 10/21

RSVP for the World Food Day dinner in the Clement Board Room on Monday, October 21, at 6:00 p.m. Oxfam representative Jessica Church will discuss our food's origins, global food security and justice, and what you can do to help others in Winchester and globally.

Every day, nearly one billion people around the world go hungry from weather, war, spikes in energy prices, and other crises that can raise food prices beyond the reach of those living in extreme poverty. On World Food Day, we can be grateful for what we have as well as consider how to help those with less. RSVP to

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Field Trip to the American Shakespeare Center!

Excitement is mounting (squeal!) as we count down the days to our field trip to see Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well at the American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Playhouse on Thursday, October 10, in Staunton. The Playhouse replicates the staging conditions of the playwright's Elizabethan period so, while we won't be wearing powdered wigs (thank goodness!), we can otherwise experience the Bard's work as it was meant to be. What better way to study comic drama than to see a seminal one performed live in a period-appropriate theatre? 

A few items to remember, please:
  1. Meet at the Henkel driveway/parking lot by 8:00 a.m. The van leaves at 8:15 with or without you.
  2. Dress is comfortable (possibly in deference to #1). Basically: shirt and shoes required.
  3. No gum or outside food. You can purchase snacks at the theatre snack bar.
  4. Cell phones should be turned off during the performance, please, and observe silence (except laughing!) during the performance.
  5. We will eat our pre-ordered boxed lunches from the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in the van en route back to SU. Lunch is on me (well, the department).
  6. The performance ends at 1:00 p.m; we should arrive back at SU at around 2:30.
Want to see a video of the history of Blackfriars? Check out this video.

Thanks to the Shenandoah University Department of English for sponsoring this trip.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Welcome to Comic Drama

This course blog is an online extension of our classroom space. It's a paperless way for me to make important course information accessible to you from any Internet-accesible computer. I hope you will explore the course information supplied here. Be sure to check this blog often for new information useful to your success in this course. I will also use this space to post queries for your response, course announcements, and other news or events of interest to comedy scholars. Please feel free to post any questions or comments about the course here.

I look forward to working with you this semester.

Dr. Brown