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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constructions of racial identity ? These ideas would not necessarily challenge performance theory , but they would complicate the notion of performance . If race was first experienced most frequently through dramatic performances ...
Unlike medieval and Renaissance racial constructions which often define blackness in Christian terms ( blackness = obscurity = evil ) , thereby conflating racial and religious politics , Ravenscroft highlights color as a racial ...
I argue that Dryden attempted to appropriate Digges's ambiguities by “ dispeopl [ ing ] ” the island of Amboyna in order to avoid a more clearly essentialist construction of racial difference . Instead , Dryden projected all of the ...
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