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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Skin color , in fact , is only one of several definitions and terms used , ranging from cultural upbringing to social conditioning to essential being . The second assumption that warrants investigation is the idea that race does not ...
Or , is it a social construction that is altered in the new environment ? Regardless , the value of the proximity of physical conquest is undermined : it either reveals an essential difference between certain beings ; or , it creates ...
Once again Dryden emphasizes the differences between the Dutch and English in social constructivist terms . It is not that the Dutch race is essentially different from the English ; rather , it is that the Dutch have chosen to construct ...
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