Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage
Routledge, 2008 - 174
Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage provides the first sustained reading of Restoration plays through a performance theory lens. This approach shows that an analysis of the conjoined performances of torture and race not only reveals the early modern interest in the nature of racial identity, but also how race was initially coded in a paradoxical fashion as both essentially fixed and socially constructed. An examination of scenes of torture provides the most effective way to unearth these seemingly contradictory representations of race because depictions of torture often interrogate the incongruous desire to substitute the visible and manipulable materiality of the body for the more illusive performative nature of identity. In turn, Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage challenges the long-standing assumption that early modern conceptions of race were radically different in their fluidity from post-Enlightenment ones by demonstrating how many of the debates we continue to have about the nature of racial identity were engendered by these seventeenth-century performances.
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I diverge from Loomba's argument , however , by claiming that flexibility is a less accurate formulation for early ... I am arguing that early modern performance created race in a contradictory fashion precisely because it was an act .
The critical and farcical treatment of Settle's play from the Restoration seems to support the arguments that ... Race was not a factor on the Restoration stage , so the argument goes , because playwrights and critics from the period ...
The “ Argument ” reads : The Design is first to represent the happy condition of the People of Peru anciently , when their inclinations were govern'd by Nature ; and then it makes some discov'ry of their establishment under the ...
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