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Race, Gender, Justice (TAPS 264S)

COURSES

Term
  • Winter
Subject Code
COMPLIT
Course Number
264T
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Race, Gender, Justice (TAPS 264S)

The question of justice animates some of the most influential classics and contemporary plays in the dramatic canon. We will examine the relationship between state laws and kinship obligations in Sophocles's Antigone. We will trace the transnational circulation of this text and its adaptations in Gambaro's Argentinian Antigona Furiosa, and Fugard and Kani's South African The Island. We will read Shakespeare's Othello and consider questions of racism, misogyny, and intimate partner violence, investigate the reverberations of these themes in the OJ Simpson trial, and explore its afterlife in Toni Morrison's Desdemona. We will take up questions of sexual violence via John Patrick Shanley's Doubt and Ariel Dorfman's Chilean classic, Death and the Maiden. We will examine themes of police brutality and racial vulnerability in Anna Deavere Smith's Twilight and Aleshea Harris's What to Send Up When it Goes Down. Through close readings of plays, we will explore the inter-articulation of intimacy and violence, intimidation and transgression, vengeance and forgiveness within the context of larger struggles for gender and racial justice. We will read plays in light of contemporary reckonings with the US criminal justice system: the #MeToo movement and the Black Lives Matter movement. While the former appeals to the criminal justice system to restore victims¿ rights, the latter urges a thorough dismantling of the carceral state. How do we understand these divergent responses to augment or abolish punitive structures?