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Approaches to Teaching Medieval English Drama

Editor(s): Richard K. Emmerson

Pages: xvii & 182 pp.
Published: 1990
ISBN: 9780873525329 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780873525312 (hardcover)

"Practical, informative, and inspiring."
Bibliothèque d'humanisme et renaissance

"This is an impressive addition to the MLA series on Approaches to Teaching World Literature, worthy of circulation beyond its intended audience."
Envoi: A Review Journal of Medieval Literature

Anyone who has recently attended a professional meeting devoted to medieval drama or witnessed a revival of a medieval play knows that the genre is alive and flourishing. This volume offers help for new teachers of these works, encourages experienced teachers to rethink classroom presentation of familiar plays, and suggests new ways for all teachers to integrate medieval drama into undergraduate courses.

Like other books in the Approaches series, this one is divided into two parts. The first part, "Materials," reviews editions, translations, and anthologies of medieval drama and discusses useful secondary readings for both students and instructors. In the second part, "Approaches," seventeen essays present a rich array of ideas for teaching medieval English drama, from the liturgical texts of the tenth century to the morality plays and cycle plays of the fifteenth century. Several authors focus on particular classroom strategies; others apply methodologies informed by theoretical approaches such as feminism, semiotics, and anthropology; still others discuss staging and performance of the plays.

Table of Contents

Approaches to Teaching Medieval English Drama

V. A. Kolve

Richard K. Emmerson

Editions and Translations
Teaching an Anthology of Medieval Drama
Teaching a Single Mystery Cycle
Teaching Medieval Drama in a Survey Course

Required and Recommended Readings for Students

The Instructor's Library
Reference Works
Background Studies
Critical and Literary Studies of the Drama
Studies of the Medieval Theater

Aids to Teaching




Medieval Drama: Genres, Misconceptions, and Approaches
Martin Stevens

Critical and Theoretical Approaches

Teaching the Medieval Latin "Drama": Reflections Historical and Theoretical
C. Clifford Flanigan

Cultural Approaches to Medieval Drama
Kathleen M. Ashley

The Semiotics of Christ's Body in the English Cycles
Peter W. Travis

A Feminist Approach to the Corpus Christi Cycles
Theresa Coletti

Typology and the Teaching of Medieval Drama
Pamela Sheingorn

Courses and Strategies

Faith and Prosperity: Cultural Values in Medieval Drama
Peter H. Greenfield

Middle English Drama and Middle English Lyrics
Mark Allen

Jesus Christ, Superstar and Medieval Drama: Anachronism and Humor
Michael L. Hall

A Theater of Domestication and Entrapment: The Cycle Plays
Robert W. Hanning

Medieval Drama through the Cycle Plays: Problems and Possibilities
John C. Coldewey

Staging and Performance

Escaping from English Literature: Dramatic Approaches to Medieval Drama
Robert Potter

The Harlotry Players: Teaching Medieval Drama through Performance
Martin W. Walsh

Festival and Drama
Milla C. Riggio

Tossing Mak Around
Míceál F. Vaughan


Why Teach Medieval Drama?
David Bevington

Works Cited

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

Index of Dramatic Texts

Index of Names

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© 2015 Modern Language Association. Last updated 02/24/2015.