This week in seminar we will set memberships for the Group Assignment. The deadlines & broad outline are given in the course syllabus.
The assignment is designed to help us determine whether the claim, made in our course rubric, that "..... television is furniture" is accurate or is instead merely an expression of theatre snobbery.
Each group will agree on one television programme to be watched as drama for the weeks of our course. Members will take notes that evaluate their chosen progamme against specific criteria from the critical writers explained in lecture: one of Aristotle, Dr. Johnson, Shaw, or Mishima. These notes will then be pooled within the group, summarised, and then used to create a dramatical representation of your group conclusions. Your drama will then be acted in seminar on one of the last two course weeks -- you will sign up for your presentation date when your seminar leader assigns the group memberships. The presentation will be between five and fifteen minutes in length.
There is no restriction on the type of TV programme you can select: if, for instance, you think TV News is a form of drama then simply analyse one news show as being such. When meeting to create your drama, you will be able to apply & use the dramatical principles introduced in lecture. Seminar time will be provided throughout the term for group work on this assignment, but of course the more time together you put in, the better your grade will be on what amounts to a full 20% of your final course mark. Should your group wish it, I can set you up with a blog so that you can exchange ideas and store your progress online and at your own convenience. Simply stop by any Office Hour, or make a special appointment.
You will find that this assignment is captivating and beneficial in equal proportion. Each group should have one member assigned who is experienced in, or at least comfortable with, dramatic performance: not every member of the group needs to take an acting part -- each group can assign the individual group duties as it sees fit. There will be one group grade for all the members, determined by the tutorial leader.