21L.016 / 21M.616 Learning from the Past: Drama, Science, Performance

Spring 2007

Image of a printed page.
"A true alarum to England, but more especially to the City of London: and a relation of the treacherous combination between errorists and malignants. Also the horrid design which the army and their own party cunningly drive on to change the government of England and inslave the whole kingdom, is briefly declared. A serious discourse held with the citizens of London concerning the covenant that they have taken. Likewise seasonable advice both to the old and young men of the city. By a faithful friend (a mourner in Sion) and very necessary to be taken into serious consideration by all that desire the peace of Jerusalem, the welfare of England, the liberty of the subject, the safety and prosperity of the City of London. Printed in the year 1647." (© British Library Board. All rights reserved. Used with permission.)

Course Highlights

The assignments page includes the script of a play written by the students.

Course Description

This class explores the creation (and creativity) of the modern scientific and cultural world through study of western Europe in the 17th century, the age of Descartes and Newton, Shakespeare, Rembrandt and Moliere. It compares period thinking to present-day debates about the scientific method, art, religion, and society. This team-taught, interdisciplinary subject draws on a wide range of literary, dramatic, historical, and scientific texts and images, and involves theatrical experimentation as well as reading, writing, researching and conversing.

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Prof. Diana Henderson
Prof. Janet Sonenberg

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session