Early Modern Theatre and the Figure of Disability

Author: Genevieve Love
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 9781350017214
Release Date: 2018-10-18
Genre: Drama

What work did physically disabled characters do for the early modern theatre? Through a consideration of a range of plays, including Doctor Faustus and Richard III, Genevieve Love argues that the figure of the physically disabled prosthetic body in early modern English theatre mediates a set of related 'likeness problems' that structure the theatrical, textual, and critical lives of the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. The figure of disability stands for the relationship between actor and character: prosthetic disabled characters with names such as Cripple and Stump capture the simultaneous presence of thefictional and the material, embodied world of the theatre. When the figure of the disabled body exits the stage, it also mediates a second problem of likeness, between plays in their performed and textual forms. While supposedly imperfect textual versions of plays have been characterized as 'lame', the dynamic movement of prosthetic disabled characters in the theatre expands the figural role which disability performs in the relationship between plays on the stage and on the page. Early Modern Theatre and the Figure of Disability reveals how attention to physical disability enriches our understanding of early modern ideas about how theatre works, while illuminating in turn how theatre offers a reframing of disability as metaphor.

Eunuchs and Castrati

Author: Katherine Crawford
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781351166355
Release Date: 2018-07-17
Genre: Social Science

Eunuchs and Castrati examines the enduring fascination among historians, literary critics, musicologists, and other scholars around the figure of the castrate. Specifically, the book asks what influence such fascination had on the development and delineation of modern ideas around sexuality and physical impairment. Ranging from Greco-Roman times to the twenty-first century, Katherine Crawford brings together travel accounts, diplomatic records, and fictional sources, as well as existing scholarship, to demonstrate how early modern interlocutors reacted to and depicted castrates. She reveals how medicine and law operated to maintain the privileges of bodily integrity and created and extended prejudice against those without it. In consequence, castrates were constructed as gender deviant, disabled social subjects and demarcated as inferior. Early modern cultural loci then reinforced these perceptions, encouraging an othering of castrates in public contexts. These extensive, almost obsessive accounts of appearance, social propensities, and gender characteristics of castrated men reveal the historical lineages of sexual stigma and hostility towards gender non-normative and physically impaired persons. For Crawford, they are the roots of sexual and physical prejudices that remain embedded in the western experience today.

The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment

Author: Valerie Traub
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780191019722
Release Date: 2016-09-08
Genre: Drama

The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment brings together 42 of the most important scholars and writing on the subject today. Extending the purview of feminist criticism, it offers an intersectional paradigm for considering representations of gender in the context of race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, and religion. In addition to sophisticated textual analysis drawing on the methods of historicism, psychoanalysis, queer theory, and posthumanism, a team of international experts discuss Shakespeare's life, contemporary editing practices, and performance of his plays on stage, on screen, and in the classroom. This theoretically sophisticated yet elegantly written Handbook includes an editor's Introduction that provides a comprehensive overview of current debates.

The Figure of the Crowd in Early Modern London

Author: I. Munro
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9781403978738
Release Date: 2005-04-15
Genre: Literary Criticism

The Figure of the Crowd in Early Modern London examines the cultural phenomenon of the urban crowd in the context of early modern London's population crisis. The book explores the crowd's double function as a symbol of the city's growth and as the necessary context for the public performance of urban culture. Its central argument is that the figure of the crowd acts as a supplement to the symbolic space of the city, at once providing a tangible referent for urban meaning and threatening the legibility of that meaning through its motive force and uncontrollable energy.

Disability Health and Happiness in the Shakespearean Body

Author: Sujata Iyengar
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317620075
Release Date: 2014-12-05
Genre: Literary Criticism

This book considers early modern and postmodern ideals of health, vigor, ability, beauty, well-being, and happiness, uncovering and historicizing the complex negotiations among physical embodiment, emotional response, and communally-sanctioned behavior in Shakespeare's literary and material world. The volume visits a series of questions about the history of the body and how early modern cultures understand physical ability or vigor, emotional competence or satisfaction, and joy or self-fulfillment. Individual essays investigate the purported disabilities of the "crook-back" King Richard III or the "corpulent" Falstaff, the conflicts between different health-care belief-systems in The Taming of the Shrew and Hamlet, the power of figurative language to delineate or even instigate puberty in the Sonnets or Romeo and Juliet, and the ways in which the powerful or moneyed mediate the access of the poor and injured to cure or even to care. Integrating insights from Disability Studies, Health Studies, and Happiness Studies, this book develops both a detailed literary-historical analysis and a provocative cultural argument about the emphasis we place on popular notions of fitness and contentment today.

Exploring the Cultural History of Continental European Freak Shows and Enfreakment

Author: Anna Kérchy
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 9781443846424
Release Date: 2013-02-14
Genre: Social Science

This collection offers cultural historical analyses of enfreakment and freak shows, examining the social construction and spectacular display of wondrous, monstrous, or curious Otherness in the formerly relatively neglected region of Continental Europe. Forgotten stories are uncovered about freak-show celebrities, medical specimen, and philosophical fantasies presenting the anatomically unusual in a wide range of sites, including curiosity cabinets, anatomical museums, and traveling circus acts. The essays explore the locally specific dimensions of the exhibition of extraordinary bodies within their particular historical, cultural and political context. Thus the impact of the Nazi eugenics programs, state Socialism, or the Chernobyl catastrophe is observed closely and yet the transnational dimensions of enfreakment are made obvious through topics ranging from Jesuit missionaries’ diabolization of American Indians, to translations of Continental European teratology in British medical journals, and the Hollywood silver screen’s colonization of European fantasies about deformity. Although Continental European freaks are introduced as products of ideologically-infiltrated representations, they also emerge as embodied subjects endowed with their own voice, view, and subversive agency.

Ben Jonson John Marston and Early Modern Drama

Author: Rebecca Yearling
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9781137563996
Release Date: 2016-01-05
Genre: Literary Criticism

This book examines the influence of John Marston, typically seen as a minor figure among early modern dramatists, on his colleague Ben Jonson. While Marston is usually famed more for his very public rivalry with Jonson than for the quality of his plays, this book argues that such a view of Marston seriously underestimates his importance to the theatre of his time. In it, the author contends that Marston's plays represent an experiment in a new kind of satiric drama, with origins in the humanist tradition of serio ludere. His works—deliberately unpredictable, inconsistent and metatheatrical—subvert theatrical conventions and provide confusingly multiple perspectives on the action, forcing their spectators to engage actively with the drama and the moral dilemmas that it presents. The book argues that Marston's work thus anticipates and perhaps influenced the mid-period work of Ben Jonson, in plays such as Sejanus, Volpone and The Alchemist.

A Companion to Early Modern Hispanic Theater

Author: Hilaire Kallendorf
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9789004263017
Release Date: 2014-02-20
Genre: Literary Criticism

A panoramic, state-of-the-art handbook in English destined to chart a course for future work in the field of early modern Hispanic theater studies. Contains 18 crucial essays distributed among 4 wide-ranging sections on Origins, Themes, Places, and Intersections.

Postdramatic Theatre and the Political

Author: Karen Jürs-Munby
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 9781408185889
Release Date: 2013-12-19
Genre: Performing Arts

Is postdramatic theatre political and if so how? How does it relate to Brecht's ideas of political theatre, for example? How can we account for the relationship between aesthetics and politics in new forms of theatre, playwriting, and performance? The chapters in this book discuss crucial aspects of the issues raised by the postdramatic turn in theatre in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century: the status of the audience and modes of spectatorship in postdramatic theatre; the political claims of postdramatic theatre; postdramatic theatre's ongoing relationship with the dramatic tradition; its dialectical qualities, or its eschewing of the dialectic; questions of representation and the real in theatre; the role of bodies, perception, appearance and theatricality in postdramatic theatre; as well as subjectivity and agency in postdramatic theatre, dance and performance. Offering analyses of a wide range of international performance examples, scholars in this volume engage with Hans-Thies Lehmann's theoretical positions both affirmatively and critically, relating them to other approaches by thinkers ranging from early theorists such as Brecht, Adorno and Benjamin, to contemporary thinkers such as Fischer-Lichte, Rancière and others

The Routledge History of Disability

Author: Roy Hanes
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781351774031
Release Date: 2017-10-25
Genre: History

The Routledge History of Disability explores the shifting attitudes towards and representations of disabled people from the age of antiquity to the twenty-first century. Taking an international view of the subject, this wide-ranging collection shows that the history of disability cuts across racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, gender and class divides, highlighting the commonalities and differences between the experiences of disabled persons in global historical context. The book is arranged in four parts, covering histories of disabilities across various time periods and cultures, histories of national disability policies, programs and services, histories of education and training and the ways in which disabled people have been seen and treated in the last few decades. Within this, the twenty-eight chapters discuss topics such as developments in disability issues during the late Ottoman period, the history of disability in Belgian Congo in the early twentieth century, blind asylums in nineteenth-century Scotland and the systematic killing of disabled children in Nazi Germany. Illustrated with images and tables and providing an overview of how various countries, cultures and societies have addressed disability over time, this comprehensive volume offers a global perspective on this rapidly growing field and is a valuable resource for scholars of disability studies and histories of disabilities.

Keywords for Disability Studies

Author: Rachel Adams
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9781479839520
Release Date: 2015-08-14
Genre: Law

Keywords for Disability Studies aims to broaden and define the conceptual framework of disability studies for readers and practitioners in the field and beyond. The volume engages some of the most pressing debates of our time, such as prenatal testing, euthanasia, accessibility in public transportation and the workplace, post-traumatic stress, and questions about the beginning and end of life. Each of the 60 essays in Keywords for Disability Studies focuses on a distinct critical concept, including “ethics,” “medicalization,” “performance,” “reproduction,” “identity,” and “stigma,” among others. Although the essays recognize that “disability” is often used as an umbrella term, the contributors to the volume avoid treating individual disabilities as keywords, and instead interrogate concepts that encompass different components of the social and bodily experience of disability. The essays approach disability as an embodied condition, a mutable historical phenomenon, and a social, political, and cultural identity. An invaluable resource for students and scholars alike, Keywords for Disability Studies brings the debates that have often remained internal to disability studies into a wider field of critical discourse, providing opportunities for fresh theoretical considerations of the field’s core presuppositions through a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Visit keywords.nyupress.org for online essays, teaching resources, and more.