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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Although claiming to be universal , however , these theories completely elide early modern performances of race . Performance theorists are often so invested in modern theatre that they have failed to examine how modern performativity ...
Most scholars have offered the caveat that modern conceptions / perceptions of race differ from early modern ones in significant ways . Although there is quite a range in the ways critics describe the differences , most end up stressing ...
33 Like Loomba , I think it is important to deconstruct the simplistic binary between early modern cultural constructions of race and modern biological constructions of race . This binary , as Loomba suggests , creates the false ...
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