Reassessing the Theater of the Absurd

What are you waiting for? Come to Michael Bennett’s talk!
Prof. Michael Bennett (BA ’02) will be returning to GW this week to speak about his book Reassessing the Theatre of the Absurd. His talk, on Tuesday, March 27 at 10:30 a.m. in Rome Hall 663, is open to all.

Bennett is Assistant Professor of English in Drama at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. In addition to Reassessing the Theatre of the Absurd: Camus, Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, and Pinter (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), he is author of the forthcoming Words, Space, and the Audience: The Theatrical Tension between Empiricism and Rationalism (Palgrave Macmillan). He is also the editor of Refiguring Oscar Wilde’s Salome (Rodopi, 2011) and the co-editor of Eugene O’Neill’s One-Act Plays: New Critical Perspectives (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming August 2012). Bennett’s new project is a book titled Modern Drama and Philosophy: The Ontology of the Theatre.


Fifty years after the publication of Martin Esslin’s The Theatre of the Absurd, which suggests that “absurd” plays purport the meaninglessness of life, Bennett’s book argues that these plays are, instead, ethical texts that suggest how life can be made meaningful. Analyzing the works of five major playwrights/writers of the 1950s (including three winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature), Bennett’s work challenges fifty years of scholarship through his upbeat and hopeful readings.

We are thrilled to have a former undergrad-cum-professor coming back to his alma mater to give a talk about his scholarship!

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