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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1 Antonin Artaud's second manifesto for the Theatre of Cruelty cries out for a theatre that will depict " great social ... To usher in this new theatrical tradition , Artaud declared that the " first spectacle of the Theatre of Cruelty ...
Critics , who are otherwise extremely attentive to the import of the theatrical innovations of the Restoration , have not ... Theorizing the significance of the semiotics of blackness in English Renaissance 7 theatre , for example ...
7 theatre , for example , Ian Smith reminds his reader that the bodies on the stage were not naturalized but , rather ... provide a unique opportunity to analyze how these theatrical innovations impacted racial constructions .
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