How does an artform like dramatic literature theorize concepts like 'contemporary' or 'American'? This course studies contemporary drama to explore how we might understand our current moment beyond chronology and Americanness beyond national distinctiveness. For instance, did the 'contemporary' begin with 9/11, the Great Recession, or our current political upheavals? Does 'American' signify a set of affects, histories, and discourses that are shared by some but not others? To pursue these and other queries, we will read works by Lynn Nottage, Ayad Akytar, Sarah Ruhl, Matthew Lopez, among others. We plan for at least one trip to see performances in New York City, conditions permitting.