The Gothic legacy of Shakespeare’s Wars of the Roses
the First. That’s the kind of company I want to
keep’. 1 I take this recent mini television series as my
point of departure for a discussion of Shakespeare’s
historical re-imagination of the Wars of the Roses, because both
texts cross politicalpower struggles with a battle of the sexes,
though they do so at different historical moments as well as in
beneath a typical misdirection, in E.K.’s
gloss on this ‘immortall mirrhor’ suggests that the problem is not
a moral failing on Cuddie’s part, but rather the limitations enforced
on poetry by dependence on politicalpower – a dependence which
Virgil’s pastoral negotiations fail to escape:
Immortall myrrhour) Beauty, which is an excellent obiect of Poeticall
spirites, as appeareth by the worthy Petrarchs saying.
Fiorir faceua il mio debile ingegno
A las sua ombra, et crescer ne gli affanni.
The quotation is Petrarch, Rime Sparse 60.3–4, which McCabe
Upon completing Midnight’s Children Rushdie shifted his focus from a pan-Indian fiction of South Asia in the twentieth century to a more localised response to Pakistani politics in the 1970s and early 1980s. Specifically, Rushdie’s Shame traces a fictionalised, and heavily fantasised, path through the rise to politicalpower of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (who appears as Iskander Harappa), Bhutto’s appointment of Zia ul-Haq (Raza Hyder) as his army chief of staff in 1976, Zia’s deposition of Bhutto after the army was called in to quell
Queering origin stories and questioning the visitable past
English poem ‘Two Acres’, but a tantalizing project of recovering the
precious truth that his lost life and fading legacy evoke for English culture.
In tracing Valance’s afterlife, The Stranger’s Child explores the politicalpower of institutionalized memory, the power of the archive, even as
the novel reveals its necessarily arbitrary and contingent nature. As
Valance is revised from patriotic poet of the Great War to queer icon
of the 1980s, England is somehow always at stake, even if ironically, as
in the overblown claims of the queer 1980s
Shakespeare's construction of a king haunted by the returning dead.
The ghosts in Richard III , appearing to him the night before the battle of Bosworth, register and recall the collateral damage of Richard's journey to politicalpower. They also, in their excessive number and in their close relation to Richard, are signs of his unnatural occupation of the throne, that his rule is against the natural order of things as presented in the world of the play. Whereas Macbeth's illegitimacy is signalled in his lack of progeny
her death and subsequent canonisation. Margaret’s surviving volumes no longer bear the jewels they once might have done and they are, by and large, no longer treated as objects of devotion, but they nevertheless deserve to be treated far more seriously than Gameson’s comments suggest. In St Margaret of Scotland we have a fascinating case study of an early female queen actively and quite self-consciously manipulating her knowledge and learning to further her politicalpower, and in the work of her biographers and subsequent historians we have an instance of the ways
The first collection of its kind, Chartist Drama makes available four plays written or performed by members of the Chartist movement of the 1840s. Emerging from the lively counter-culture of this protest campaign for democratic rights, these plays challenged cultural as well as political hierarchies by adapting such recognisable genres as melodrama, history plays, and tragedy for performance in radically new settings. A communal, public, and embodied art form, drama was linked for the Chartists with other kinds of political performance: the oratory of the mass platform, festival-like outdoor meetings, and the elaborate street theatre of protest marches. Plays that Chartists wrote or staged advanced new interpretations of British history and criticised aspects of the contemporary world. And Chartist drama intervened in fierce strategic arguments within the movement. Most notably, poet-activist John Watkins’s John Frost, which dramatises the gripping events of the Newport rising of 1839, in which twenty-two Chartists lost their lives, defends the rebellion and the Chartist recourse to violence as a means for the movement to achieve its aims. The volume’s appendices document over one hundred Chartist dramatic performances, staged by activists in local Chartist associations or at professional benefits at some of London’s largest working-class theatres. Gregory Vargo’s introduction and notes elucidate the previously unexplored world of Chartist dramatic culture, a context that promises to reshape what we know about early Victorian popular politics and theatre.
This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.
Ralph Knevet's Supplement of the Faery Queene (1635) is a narrative and allegorical work, which weaves together a complex collection of tales and episodes, featuring knights, ladies, sorcerers, monsters, vertiginous fortresses and deadly battles – a chivalric romp in Spenser's cod medieval style. The poem shadows recent English history, and the major military and political events of the Thirty Years War. But the Supplement is also an ambitiously intertextual poem, weaving together materials from mythic, literary, historical, scientific, theological, and many other kinds of written sources. Its encyclopaedic ambitions combine with Knevet's historical focus to produce an allegorical epic poem of considerable interest and power. This new edition of Knevet's Supplement, the first scholarly text of the poem ever published, situates it in its literary, historical, biographical, and intellectual contexts. An extensive introduction and copious critical commentary, positioned at the back of the book, will enable students and scholars alike to access Knevet's complicated and enigmatic meanings, structures, and allusions.
Ten years ago, I published an article exploring questions of the politics of
representation in jazz criticism in which I argued that ‘the death of the
author’ actually promotes, in some contexts, some of the abuses of cultural
power Michel Foucault most objects to in his 1969 lecture Qu’est-ce qu’un
auteur? (later published as ‘What Is An Author?’), including the continued
dominance of socially legitimated points of view and the continued
marginalisation of social commentaries and critiques that oppose themselves
to these dominant threads of discourse. Working from recent arguments made
by Drucilla Cornell and Stephen D. Seely that Foucault’s Iranian Revolution
interviews demonstrate his commitment to a ‘political spirituality’, this
follow-up chapter reads collections and commentaries on Foucault’s Iranian
interviews and considers what enhanced relevance Foucault’s thought and his
distinctive approach to broadly political questions might have for
performative disciplines like theatre studies and improvisation theory. The
chapter concludes that Foucault’s perceived failure to recognise widely
acknowledged truths about political power is not the failure to be
intellectually responsible that he is charged with, but a provocative
invitation to brush aside mainstream discourses and concern ourselves with
precisely the kinds of questions that are being silenced.