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Preparing for grad school

Hi, all. I just finished up my BFA in dramatic writing--playwriting, specifically--at NYU. I'm entering NYU's MA program in English and American literature in the fall. (Don't worry--I have a scholarship--I'm not paying anything.) My undergrad advisors knew nothing about English, so this community played a huge role in helping me apply without making a complete ass of myself.

So, what materials do you folks think would be good for a non-English major preparing for graduate English study to read over the summer? Remember, I've had no formal training in the novel or poetry--only drama. Recently, I read Peter Barry's Beginning Theory, a survey of literary theory. But I face a steep learning curve, in terms of both literature and criticism. Any suggestions? I've got to get a serious head start. Thanks!

By the way, for anyone who's doing the CUNY Language for Reading program this summer, so am I--in French.

Comments

e_k_p
May. 14th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
The three texts anglophile318 suggests were all on my bookshelf before I started my program last year, too, and they served me pretty well. I'm a dramatic lit person, so I feel you - I'm constantly reminding my program that drama exists and is legit ;) Try Richard Schechner's seminal book "Performance Theory" for some theoretical background in drama - you may have come across this before now in your previous program. Good luck!
nyc_playwright
May. 15th, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC)
Given my background, I think my specialty may very well end up being dramatic literature, but I'm a bit disconcerted by the seeming obscurity of the field. Do English programs consider drama a legitimate focus? From what I can tell, most departments have one or two drama specialists on faculty, but I can't quite get a handle on drama's position on the spectrum of English subfields. What do you think?

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