Advanced seminar: HS: Samuel Beckett's Theatre - Details
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General information

Course name Advanced seminar: HS: Samuel Beckett's Theatre
Semester WS 2023/24
Current number of participants 8
maximum number of participants 30
Home institute Englische Literaturwissenschaft
participating institutes ZZZ_Literaturwissenschaft (Anglistik/Amerikanistik)
Courses type Advanced seminar in category Teaching
First date Tuesday, 17.10.2023 15:45 - 17:15, Room: (D 1003)
Type/Form Bitte beachten Sie: Dieses Hauptseminar ist nur für Studierende der Master- und Lehramtsstudiengänge geöffnet, nicht aber für Bachelor-Studierende!
Pre-requisites Einführung in die Literaturwissenschaft
Performance record Regular attendance and active participation; thesis paragraphs, written term paper.
Online/Digitale Veranstaltung Veranstaltung wird in Präsenz abgehalten.
Hauptunterrichtssprache englisch
Literaturhinweise • A reader containing relevant secondary material will be provided in the first session.
• A detailed reading list will be made available at the beginning of term.
ECTS points 8-10

Rooms and times

(D 1003)
Tuesday: 15:45 - 17:15, weekly (15x)

Module assignments


Samuel Barclay Beckett (1906–1989) was an Irish novelist, dramatist, short story writer, theatre director, poet, and also a literary translator. Today he is considered as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and a major representative of experimental prose and drama. His work was internationally recognized when he received the Novel Prize for Literature in 1969.

The seminar will turn to his work for the theatre. Proverbially almost, Beckett’s early dramatic work is now considered as the epitome of the theatre of the absurd and of metadrama. The plays describe bleak, impersonal experiences of life hovering between tragedy and (black) comedy. His later, post 1970s, work becomes increasingly minimalism, which we shall retrace intermedially by studying examples from music and the visual arts.

We shall start the seminar with theoretical, philosophical as well as historical foundations and shall then proceeed to discussing of the following plays: Waiting For Godot (1948–49), Endgame (1955–57), Krapp’s Last Tape (1959), Happy Days (1961), Footfalls (1976), Rockaby (1980), Catastrophe (1982), What Where (1981) and Quad I and II, which were written for television and broadcast in 1981.

Studying Beckett, students will get an insight into twentieth-century aesthetics and the most prolific and sustained attack on the realist tradition. Beckett’s work found new possibilities and avenues for dramatic literature and the theatre by dispensing with conventional form, plot and subject matter, while, at the same time, providing moving representations of our conditio humana.

For effective work in class students are requested to obtain the following edition: Samuel Beckett, The Complete Dramatic Works. London: Faber & Faber.


Admission settings

The course is part of admission "Zeitgesteuerte Anmeldung: HS: Samuel Beckett's Theatre".
Studierende der Anglistik/Amerikanistik und des Faches Englisch können sich bereits während der vorgezogenen Anmeldephase zur Sicherstellung des Studienfortschritts für die Aufbau- und Vertiefungsmodule anmelden. Hierzu wird ein gewisses Kontingent der Kursplätze im Zeitraum vom 21.08.2023 bis 30.08.2023 für die Anmeldung geöffnet. Die Verteilung der Plätze erfolgt am 01.09.2023. Bitte beachten Sie, dass in dieser Anmeldephase Studierende in höheren Fachsemestern bei der Verteilung der Plätze priorisiert werden.
Die allgemeine Anmeldephase beginnt am 04.09.2023 und endet am 09.10.2023.
The following rules apply for the admission:
  • A defined number of seats will be assigned to these courses.
    The seats in the affected courses have been assigned at 11.10.2023 on 12:00. Additional seats may be available via a wait list.
  • The enrolment is possible from 04.09.2023, 00:00 to 09.10.2023, 12:00.