1. In Adrienne Kennedy’s A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White. Clara is a young writer who inhabits a world which fails to provide her with master narratives of specific African-American and feminine origins. Discuss the ways in which the character’s suspension in this centerless terrain is captured onstage not only as a private instance but also as a symptom of a larger, collective experience.
2. “AUSTIN: There’s nothing real down here, Lee! Least of all me!” Consider the ways in which the “real” proves unstable and highly questionable category in Sam Shepard’s True West and proceed to examine the original commentary the play offers on contemporary America.
3. In The condition of Postmodernity, David Harvey examines the peculiarities of the present moment and stresses that “the immediacy of events, the sensationalism of the spectacle (political, scientific, military, as well as those of entertainment), become the stuff of which consciousness is forged.” Discuss how pertinent Harvey’s observation proves in the case of the dystopic setting in which the main character finds herself in Jose Rivera’s Marisol.
4. In “Postmodernism and Consumer Society”, Fredric Jameson examines carefully “alarming and pathological symptoms of a society that has become incapable of dealing with time and history”, and argues that this “disappearance” of an acute “sense of history” emerges as one of the most distinctive features of the postmodern moment. Consider the ways in which Suzan-Lori Parks attempts a critical review of widely applied and persistent practices through which history is evaded and even erased, in The America Play.