In this course, we will
examine the British comedic tradition, primarily in the ‘television era’, but
with some background readings from earlier British comedies. This course will involve a lot of television
and movie time – we will watch and talk about classic British television
comedies (Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers) and more
recent comedies (Absolutely Fabulous, League of Gentlemen, Little
britain) as well as a few carefully chosen movies (Monty Python and the
Holy Grail, Borat). Readings will
include The Rivals, The Importance of Being Earnest, and A
Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
This course is designed to
meet the ‘W’ criteria of the university.
Students will write three papers and a shorter ‘movie review’, and
revise these papers under my supervision.
In addition, students wlil be involved in evaluating each other’s work,
and will take a final examination.