August Wilson

August Wilson and his Century Cycle


This course will look at the
work and the social/historical milieu of African-American playwright August
Wilson, one of the most important American playwrights of the second half of
the 20th century.  Students
will read nine of the ten plays that make up his Century Cycle, also known as The
Pittsburgh Cycle
.  Relevant topics will
include African-American history, dramatic theory, and the history of jazz and
blues.  We will use film and other media
to establish a historical basis for our investigations into these texts.  All videos will be viewed in class.  This is a Writing Intensive course that
involves peer reviews and conferences with the instructor. 


Course Requirements

  • Two 2-page papers.
  • Two 4-page essays.
  • Essay midterm and
    final exams.
  • Ten entries in a class
  • Attendance and


Required Texts (available at Revolution
Books, 2626 King Street; two or three texts may be available as downloads at

  • Gem of the Ocean
  • Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • The Piano Lesson
  • Seven Guitars
  • Fences
  • Two Trains Running
  • Jitney
  • King Hedley II