Drawing on Maggie Kilgour’s dictum that the Gothic activates a dormant past with
the power to harm the present, this article explores the early modern histories
invoked by the Regnum Congo, a sixteenth-century account of
Africa featured in H. P. Lovecraft’s cannibal story ‘The Picture in the House’.
The Regnum Congo taps into Lovecraft’s racism, instantiating,
within and beyond the story, the racial and cultural convergence he dreaded. The
tale’s cannibal resembles the Africans depicted in the Regnum
Congo to a striking degree, even as his reverence for the book colours
his putative status as a puritan. Integrating the book itself into the analysis
enables a reading of the tale’s controversial cataclysmic ending as oneof
several exemplars of Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock’s ‘Gothic thing-power’, which
disrupts subject/object boundaries. The multifarious histories summoned by
‘Picture’ reflect Lovecraft’s own ambivalence about the past, as well as the
possibilities of attention to Gothic pasts.
Harlots and televising the realities of eighteenth-century English prostitution
Brig Kristin and Clark Emily J.
reading of this episode, in which characters exploit a woman’s
illness in a power struggle, we argue that Harlots decentres earlymodern medicine by portraying how syphilis and its potential outcome in
death formed a regular part of life for Londoners. Fusing disease and
medicine into a period drama without breaking the show’s rhythm, this
perspective educates the audience about eighteenth-century prostitution and
While Shakespeare’s plays are
the focus of almost all of the research devoted to earlymodern drama on
screen, significant elements of scholarship have been published in
recent years that consider film and television engagements with plays by
other earlymodern writers. In 2011, 2014 and 2015, Shakespeare
Bulletin produced special issues focused on non
The cinematic afterlife of an early modern political diva
Elisabeth Bronfen and Barbara Straumann
twentieth century. Discussing Elizabeth I as an earlymodern political
media diva may seem preposterous, and yet our claim is that she
anticipates the very enmeshment between celebrity culture and political
power that is so particular to the charisma of celebrities in the public
arena in the twentieth and early twenty-first century. What is at stake
in our discussion is, therefore, a self-consciously ahistorical reading
surviving pieces …
unearthed, catalogued, authenticated, re-sequenced, and put together in
a single magic box’ (G. Taylor 2007 : 58).
The image might equally be applied to Middleton’s tragedies on
Neil Taylor’s statistical overview of stage plays on
BBC Television concludes that television has not served earlymodern
drama well, with only seven playwrights’ work having
War and commerce
From the earlymodern period of mercantilism there has always been a connection between war and commerce in the West, articulated but never totally
determined by the emergent European states. Since its ostensible intention was
to find gold in order to fund armies, ‘mercantilism was an economic phenomenon, but its purposes were strictly political, indeed strategic’ (Luttwak, 1999:
140). But whatever its ostensible purpose, mercantilism gave rise to great quasimartial global corporations like the East India Company that operated, partly
Serial Shakespeare explores the dissemination and reassemblage of Shakespeare’s plays in contemporary media culture, regarding the way this taps into but also transforms his preferred themes, concerns and constellations of characters. The appropriations discussed include isolated citations in Westworld and The Wire, a typology of the first female president modelled on figures of female sovereignty, as well as a discussion of what one might call a specifically Shakespearean dramaturgy in Deadwood and The Americans. By proposing a reciprocal exchange between the early modern plays and contemporary serial TV drama, the book focusses on the transhistoric and transmedial dialogue a revisitation of the Bard entails. The readings consider the Shakespeare text again, from a different perspective, but also address the fact that his text comes back to us again, from the past. The book claims that serial TV drama keeps appropriating Shakespeare to give voice to unfinished cultural business regarding the state of the American nation because both share the sense of writing in and for a period of interim. Given that the Bard continues to write and read America, what the book draws into focus is how both scriptwriters and cultural critics can, by repurposing him, come up with narratives that are appropriate to our times.
Moving images of the British monarchy, in fact and fiction, are almost as old as the moving image itself, dating back to an 1895 dramatic vignette, The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Led by Queen Victoria, British monarchs themselves appeared in the new 'animated photography' from 1896. Half a century later, the 1953 coronation of Elizabeth II was a milestone in the adoption of television, watched by 20 million Britons and 100 million North Americans. At the century's end, Princess Diana's funeral was viewed by 2.5 billion worldwide. Seventeen essays by international commentators examine the portrayal of royalty in the 'actuality' picture, the early extended feature, amateur cinema, the movie melodrama, the Commonwealth documentary, New Queer Cinema, TV current affairs, the big screen ceremonial and the post-historical boxed set. These contributors include Ian Christie, Elisabeth Bronfen, Andrew Higson, Steven Fielding, Karen Lury, Glyn Davis, Ann Gray, Jane Landman, Victoria Duckett, Jude Cowan Montague, James Downs, Barbara Straumann, Deirdre Gilfedder, Jo Stephenson, Ruth Adams, Erin Bell, Basil Glynn and Nicola Rehling.
This book explores the development of Robert Lepage’s distinctive approach to stage direction in the early (1984–94) and middle (1995–2008) stages of his career, arguing that globalisation had a defining effect in shaping his aesthetic and professional trajectory. It combines examination of Lepage’s theatremaking techniques with discussion of his work’s effects on audiences, calling on Lepage’s own statements as well as existing scholarship and critical response. In addition to globalisation theory, the book draws on cinema studies, queer theory, and theories of affect and reception. As such, it offers an unprecedented conceptual framework, drawing together what has previously been a scattered field of research. Each of six chapters treats a particular aspect of globalisation, using this as a means to explore one or more of Lepage’s productions. These aspects include the relationship of the local (in Lepage’s case, his background in Québec) to the global; the place of individual experience within global late modernity; the effects of screen media on human perception; the particular affect of ‘feeling global’; the place of branding in contemporary creative systems; and the relationship of creative industries to neoliberal economies. Making theatre global: Robert Lepage’s original stage productions will be of interest to scholars of contemporary theatre, advanced-level undergraduates with an interest in the application of theoretical approaches to theatrical creation and reception, and arts lovers keen for new perspectives on one of the most talked-about theatre artists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Contemporary ‘British’ cinema and the nation’s monarchs
monarch: Henry V (Kenneth Branagh) in the Shakespeare adaptation
directed by Branagh in 1989.
Films released between 1989 and 2013 about the British monarchy
can be assigned to three historical periods: the pre-modern monarchy;
the earlymodern monarchy of the Tudors and the Stuarts; and the late
modern monarchy from