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All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

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Revisiting Juchitán: Witnessing An Indigenous Mexico Within The Latin American Archive, Michelle G. De La Cruz Sep 2019

Revisiting Juchitán: Witnessing An Indigenous Mexico Within The Latin American Archive, Michelle G. De La Cruz

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Throughout archives of photographic collections, as one discovers the focused, artistic selective process of images that become part of a photographer’s collection, one must venture further and ask: will these choices be decisively remembered by an individual or collective audience or actively be dismissed, misunderstood, and denied presence? For my master’s thesis, I will be analyzing Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide’s photobook, Juchitán de las Mujeres, a photo-collection of the women-empowered indigenous society in Oaxaca, Mexico which erupted during Latin American photography’s prime in the 20th century, turning away from a deeply exoticized past and towards a ...


Reimagining The Flute Masterclass: Case Studies Exploring Artistry, Authority, And Embodiment, Sarah Carrier Sep 2019

Reimagining The Flute Masterclass: Case Studies Exploring Artistry, Authority, And Embodiment, Sarah Carrier

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This work explores the flute masterclass as an aesthetic, ritualized, and historically reimagined cultural practice. Based on fieldwork that took place between 2017 and 2019 in the United States, in Italy, and on the social media platforms Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, I argue that the masterclass—an extension of the master/apprentice system that dominates learning in the classical music tradition—is characterized by embodied qualities of artistry and authority. These qualities are not inherent, but are perceived through subjective, social, familied, and affective bodies.

Chapter One outlines the main themes and the research design. Chapter Two is a case ...


A Deep-Er Practice For Educators: Reflecting, Unpacking And Confronting Racism Through Critical Performative Pedagogy, Natalia Ortiz Sep 2019

A Deep-Er Practice For Educators: Reflecting, Unpacking And Confronting Racism Through Critical Performative Pedagogy, Natalia Ortiz

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In the current political climate, we have seen time and time again the killings of black and brown youth, witnessed the separation of immigrant families, and the mass murders caused by nativist xenophobic white rage. Teachers in schools across our country need to be better prepared to engage in critical race dialogues and need to understand their location in the larger educational system so to contest, rather than reproduce, racism. This study is based on the premise that teachers are not adequately learning about structural oppression that impact the experience of school children and are not trained in the art ...


Embodied Nostalgia: Early Twentieth Century Social Dance And U.S. Musical Theatre, Phoebe Rumsey May 2019

Embodied Nostalgia: Early Twentieth Century Social Dance And U.S. Musical Theatre, Phoebe Rumsey

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In this dissertation, I claim the collective emotional connections and historical explorations characteristic of musical theatre constitute a nostalgic impulse dramaturgically inherent in the form. In my intervention in the link between nostalgia and musical theatre, I look to an area underrepresented in musical theatre scholarship: social dance. Through case studies that focus specifically on how social dance in musical theatre brings forth the dancer on stage as a site of embodied history, cultural memory, and nostalgia, I ask what social dance is doing in musical theatre and how the dancing body functions as a catalyst for nostalgic thinking for ...


Reclaiming The Musical Burlesque: A Reconstruction Of The 1855 Musical Score To John Brougham’S Po-Ca-Hon-Tas: Or, The Gentle Savage, Christopher Drobny May 2019

Reclaiming The Musical Burlesque: A Reconstruction Of The 1855 Musical Score To John Brougham’S Po-Ca-Hon-Tas: Or, The Gentle Savage, Christopher Drobny

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Most historians begin their musical theatre chronologies with the 1866 premiere of The Black Crook. However, a few respected scholars cite Po-Ca-Hon-Tas: or, The Gentle Savage, John Brougham’s 1855 musical burlesque, as an important development in the art form’s earlier evolution. The neglect of Brougham’s work is often justified for two reasons. First, his practice of creating lyrics to pre-existing melodies reduces his work to second-tier status. Second, because none of Brougham’s musical scores are extant, it is impossible to recreate a performance of his work and access its qualities. I offer two responses. First, as ...


Dance Of Exile: The Sakharoffs’ Visual Performances In Montevideo (1935–1948), Pablo Munoz Ponzo May 2019

Dance Of Exile: The Sakharoffs’ Visual Performances In Montevideo (1935–1948), Pablo Munoz Ponzo

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This thesis explores the life-work chronology of the dancers and choreographers Clotilde von Derp (whose surname then was Sakharoff) and Alexander Sakharoff, who were exiled in Montevideo, Uruguay, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, between 1941 and 1948. During their stay in the Rio de la Plata region, the Sakharoffs stirred up the art scene by performing extremely detailed dances with great attention to costume design. This thesis begins with a review of the reception of the dancers’ performances by the artistic and cultural circles in Montevideo, arguing that the Sakharoffs’ “queer” trajectory resonated with the Uruguayan artistic community, influencing the creation ...


Broadway Bodies: Casting, Stigma, And Difference In Broadway Musicals Since "A Chorus Line" (1975), Ryan Donovan May 2019

Broadway Bodies: Casting, Stigma, And Difference In Broadway Musicals Since "A Chorus Line" (1975), Ryan Donovan

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This dissertation explores how embodied identities facing social stigmatization are represented in Broadway musicals and provides histories of casting specific kinds of embodied difference. Broadway Bodies: Casting, Stigma, and Difference in Broadway Musicals since “A Chorus Line” considers the politics of representation and makes clear that casting is always a political act, situated within a power structure favoring certain bodies. Previous scholarship on casting largely centers on race and ethnicity as the central issues; this research reframes the study of casting to focus on bodies, inclusive of race and ethnicity but especially relative to ability, gender, sexuality, and size. Though ...


Performing Desire In Times Square: Sailors, Hustlers And Masculinity, Kel R. Karpinski Feb 2019

Performing Desire In Times Square: Sailors, Hustlers And Masculinity, Kel R. Karpinski

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From WWII to the early 1970s, New York City as a port town created a liminal space extending from the piers in the Brooklyn Navy Yard all the way to Times Square in Midtown Manhattan. In Times Square, through interactions on the street, in bars and in hotel rooms, desire and masculinity become a performance between and for men. The queerness of these performances lies in the fact that they fall outside of the norms of society both as same-sex encounters and because sex work is viewed as “deviant.” Further, these interactions eschew traditional labels and limits of desire and ...


Ansiedades Épico-Criollas Y El Mecenazgo De Indias En El Arauco Domado De Pedro De Oña, Andrea L. Fernandez Sep 2018

Ansiedades Épico-Criollas Y El Mecenazgo De Indias En El Arauco Domado De Pedro De Oña, Andrea L. Fernandez

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Among the characteristics of epic poetry are the topic of war, love encounters, heroism of exemplary individuals, and the narration of events contemporary to the audience to reinforce a collective historical identity. Arauco domado by Pedro de Oña, born in Angol (modern Chile), reiterates these traditional expectations with its protagonist, characters, setting, and latter theatrical representations within the viceregal context. The poem was made possible by the sponsorship of García Hurtado de Mendoza y Manrique, IV Marquis of Cañete and Viceroy of Peru. If the title of “espíritu cesarino novelo” [Caesar’s new spirit] (V.76.3) corresponds to the ...


“Are They Supposed To Be Heugin?": Negotiating Race, Nation, And Representation In Korean Musical Theatre, Ji Hyon Yuh Sep 2018

“Are They Supposed To Be Heugin?": Negotiating Race, Nation, And Representation In Korean Musical Theatre, Ji Hyon Yuh

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This dissertation examines contemporary Korean musical theatre as a form of popular culture that has served an important role in reflecting and establishing personal and national identity in Korea, especially as it intersects with the global and local manifestations of race and racial ideologies. I argue that musical theatre has served an important political and economic role, since its beginning as a cultural weapon in the height of the Cold War to more contemporary examples in which Korean musicals serve as a tool to brand Korea as an advanced nation in the world. To make a case for this relationship ...


Under The Influence: Drinking And Immersion In New York City Theatre And Popular Entertainment, 1850 To Present, Chloë R. Edmonson May 2018

Under The Influence: Drinking And Immersion In New York City Theatre And Popular Entertainment, 1850 To Present, Chloë R. Edmonson

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This dissertation contends that the social practice of drinking alcohol is a significant yet under-analyzed factor in the creation of immersive theatrical spaces that house a variety of historic and contemporary performance practices in New York City. Each chapter thereby analyzes intoxication as a phenomenon functioning both physiologically and ideologically within a variety of spaces in New York: the themed, theatrical spaces of mid-nineteenth century concert saloons of lower-Manhattan, segregated jazz clubs of Prohibition-era Harlem, interactive dinner theatre of the late eighties, and contemporary immersive theatre productions by Punchdrunk and Cynthia von Buhler. The claim that unifies these diverse sites ...


Party On, Derrida!: A Queer, Deconstructionist Look At Wayne's World, Glam, And The Losers Of Rock And Roll, Michelle A. Arp May 2018

Party On, Derrida!: A Queer, Deconstructionist Look At Wayne's World, Glam, And The Losers Of Rock And Roll, Michelle A. Arp

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What do you get when you mix a girl from Long Island, critical theory, a movie based on a Saturday Night Live sketch, David Bowie, and alternative rock of the early 2000s? A lot of losers, a lot of queerness, and plenty of room for deconstruction.

Part performance studies, part queer studies, and part memoir, this study is a cross-genre and experimental analysis of postmodern ideologies, rock and roll, and comedy. More specifically, I use Jacques Derrida’s notion of “the slash” (Of Grammatology, 1967) in relation to high and low culture via comedies, such that of Wayne’s World ...


The Other At War: Performing The Spanish-Cuban-American War On U.S. And Cuban Stages, Juan R. Recondo May 2018

The Other At War: Performing The Spanish-Cuban-American War On U.S. And Cuban Stages, Juan R. Recondo

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The Spanish-Cuban-American War, declared by the United States on April 25, 1898, marks a colonial shift in the history of the Caribbean and solidified the expansionist thrust of the United States outside national borders. Theatres in turn-of-the-century New York, which at this point was one of the theatrical centers of the nation, debated for audiences the imperialist character of the U.S. The Cuban struggle and the resulting Spanish-Cuban-American War permeated U.S. drama, thereby portraying a Caribbean in need of salvation by the military intervention of the United States. New York stages of the time became locations where various ...


Cellist, Catalyst, Collaborator: The Work Of Charlotte Moorman, Saisha Grayson May 2018

Cellist, Catalyst, Collaborator: The Work Of Charlotte Moorman, Saisha Grayson

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When classically trained cellist Charlotte Moorman (1933-1991) moved to New York City in 1957, she swiftly positioned herself at the intersection of experimental music, performance, video, and the visual arts. She interpreted works by composers like John Cage, collaborated with artists such as Nam June Paik, and founded and organized the New York Avant Garde Festival from 1963 to 1980. This dissertation argues that Moorman’s career sheds new light on what it meant to be an artist in this post-medium-specific moment and proposes that Moorman’s deterritorialization of authorship exerts pressure on traditional art histories. The generative dynamics of ...


Dolls Who Speak: Sex Robots, Cyborgs And The Image Of Woman, Victoria E. Pihl Sorensen May 2018

Dolls Who Speak: Sex Robots, Cyborgs And The Image Of Woman, Victoria E. Pihl Sorensen

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This thesis examines the emerging phenomenon of sex robots from a feminist materialist perspective. I explore the current scholarly and popular debates on sex robots, and suggest a reading of sex robots in their machinic, literary and cinematic expressions to move beyond the moral-ethical impasse that seems to dominate sex robot discussions. Employing Donna Haraway’s “Cyborg Myth” on a methodological and theoretical level, I argue for an interdisciplinary approach to studying sex robots, which proceeds carefully so as to avoid contributing to sex panic, and which thinks critically about what it might mean to assess sex robots from a ...


Being In Performance: A Philosophical Account Of The Embodied Actor, Brad M. Krumholz May 2018

Being In Performance: A Philosophical Account Of The Embodied Actor, Brad M. Krumholz

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In this dissertation I present and analyze three distinct actor-training exercises primarily through the lens of the Embodied Cognition (EC) branch of contemporary philosophy, which attempts to frame human understanding as a fully embodied interaction with the environment. Drawing from neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, and other branches of philosophy, EC provides both an excellent set of tools and a strong theoretical framework to help explain how people encounter meaning in life. I apply its unique perspectives to this philosophical account of the embodied actor as I analyze the various elements at play in actor training praxis, which allows me to shed ...


The Musicality Of Salsa Dancers: An Ethnographic Study, Janice Mahinka Feb 2018

The Musicality Of Salsa Dancers: An Ethnographic Study, Janice Mahinka

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This work analyzes the musical knowledge and aesthetics acquired by improvisatory social salsa dancers who hone close listening skills through corporeal means. The connections that these dancers construct between music, self, and partner make evident an engagement with musicality that can be seen through their demonstration of kinesthetic entrainment, structural feeling of hypermetric conventions, and enactment of expressive microtiming within beat and metric structures. I introduce the concept of timespace to explain how dancers manipulate this physiological experience to create different feelings in a dance, addressing issues that dancers raised in our feedback interviews such as feel, flow, and play ...


Choteo Cubano: Humor As A Critical Tool In Twentieth-Century Cuban Theater, Rebecca L. Salois Sep 2017

Choteo Cubano: Humor As A Critical Tool In Twentieth-Century Cuban Theater, Rebecca L. Salois

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This project analyzes the incorporation of choteo in specific Cuban theater texts written during three distinct periods in twentieth-century Cuban history, all of which coincide with specific moments of social, political, and/or economic unrest or transition. Choteo in the theater has served as a tool to demonstrate discontent and frustration with authority figures in various contexts. As that need has altered over time, so too has the approach that playwrights have taken to speak out about these issues. I suggest that by responding to changing circumstances with choteo, confronting a difficult situation is more palatable to audiences or readers ...


Fit For The Stage: Regency Actors And The Inspiration Behind Romantic Drama, James Armstrong Sep 2017

Fit For The Stage: Regency Actors And The Inspiration Behind Romantic Drama, James Armstrong

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In this dissertation, I argue that British verse tragedies of the Romantic era must be looked at not as "closet dramas" divorced from the stage, but as performance texts written with specific actors in mind. Because individual actors inspired and helped to shape dramatic works by early-nineteenth-century canonical poets, these works cannot be fully understood without an appreciation of the performers who helped make them what they are. By examining those performers, their public personas, their personal strengths, and the cultural ideals they embodied, we can better appreciate what the plays were trying to achieve. Also, knowing who was meant ...


Spectacular Politics And Everyday Performance: Tracing Music From Ceauşescu’S Romania To Multicultural America, Benjamin Dumbauld Sep 2017

Spectacular Politics And Everyday Performance: Tracing Music From Ceauşescu’S Romania To Multicultural America, Benjamin Dumbauld

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Drawing from fieldwork conducted throughout the United States and Canada, this dissertation examines the continued performance of socialist-era music within the Romanian-American community. It addresses why a community largely made up of people who sought to leave the country during the authoritarian regime of Nicolae Ceauşescu continue to perform music tied to that period by tracing the historical performance and reception of multiple genres, ranging from traditional peasant music to folk rock. The dissertation begins by examining the nationalization of Romania’s music industry under the early socialist regime (1944-1965), and locates the difficulties Communist Party members confronted in delineating ...


One Endless Dance: Tanaka Min's Experimental Practice, John (Zack) Fuller Sep 2017

One Endless Dance: Tanaka Min's Experimental Practice, John (Zack) Fuller

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This work is the first in-depth study of the work of avant-garde Japanese dancer/choreographer Tanaka Min, and focuses on his extensive innovations in the fields of improvised dance, training, and choreographic method. These interrelated aspects of his experimental practice are intimately concerned with the relation between space and the body, employ collaborative methods, and are strongly influenced by the life and work of Hijikata Tatsumi (widely to considered to be the founder of the butô movement). They are also deeply informed by his choice to live his daily life as an organic vegetable farmer, a choice that I argue ...


Performing Human Rights In Neoliberal Asia: Artistic And Activist Engagements In Hong Kong, Malaysia, And Singapore, Melissa Wansin Wong Jun 2017

Performing Human Rights In Neoliberal Asia: Artistic And Activist Engagements In Hong Kong, Malaysia, And Singapore, Melissa Wansin Wong

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This dissertation examines artistic and activist performances that address issues of rights abuses in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. I demonstrate how the centralized ruling parties encourage the neoliberalization of their economies while maintaining autocratic rule, thus intensifying structural inequalities while also clamping down on dissent. This condition then exacerbates the lack of labor, sexuality, and democratic rights. Concurrently, the states’ aspirations to be part of the global capitalist market have paradoxically provided conditional spaces of political and artistic expression. I contend that existing critiques of human rights from sociological and legalistic perspectives are inadequate for contemplating this state of ...


"Propaganda For Democracy": The Vexed History Of The Federal Theatre Project, Karen E. Gellen Jun 2017

"Propaganda For Democracy": The Vexed History Of The Federal Theatre Project, Karen E. Gellen

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My thesis explores and analyzes the Federal Theater Project’s cultural and political impact during the Depression, as well as the contested legacy of this unique experiment in government-sponsored, broadly accessible cultural expression. Part of the New Deal’s Works Projects Administration, the FTP aimed to provide jobs for playwrights, actors, designers, stagehands, and other theater professionals on relief in the stark period from 1935 to 1939. But the project became a nationwide political and artistic flashpoint, spurring fierce debate over the leadership, politics and impact of this “people’s theater.” The FTP gave professional theater an unprecedented reach into ...


Acts Of Provocation: Popular Antiracisms On/Through The Twenty-First Century New York Commercial Stage, Stefanie A. Jones Jun 2017

Acts Of Provocation: Popular Antiracisms On/Through The Twenty-First Century New York Commercial Stage, Stefanie A. Jones

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This is an abolitionist feminist study of the role of liberalism in the twenty-first century political economy. It takes as its object New York City bourgeois cultural productions (in particular Broadway theatre and the New York Times) from approximately 1984 to 2009. It offers insights into important yet widely-misunderstood features of turn-of-millennium US society: class, art, political practice, and war. In order to understand liberalism’s political and economic agenda, I look at how these objects are pitched in the struggle over racism. Sometimes when we say “liberal” we mean it in the philosophical sense, with particular attention to liberal ...


Theatre Translation As Historiography: Projections Of Greek Self-Identity Through English Translations During The European Crisis, Maria Mytilinaki Jun 2017

Theatre Translation As Historiography: Projections Of Greek Self-Identity Through English Translations During The European Crisis, Maria Mytilinaki

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This project focuses on theatre translation from Modern Greek into English through the examination of three plays translated in the early years of the ongoing Greek crisis (2012-2014). Currently Greek culture is received internationally through two important frames of reference: Hellenism, the admiration for the ancient Greek spirit, and the more recent negative associations with modern Greece provoked by the Eurozone crisis. The three translations I examine challenge these dual external projections onto Greek culture by promoting a more nuanced image that recontextualizes the Greek past. In their capacity to travel between cultures, often in bilingual iterations, these theatrical translations ...


Nervous Salomes: New York Salomania And The Neurological Condition Of Modernité, Margaret K. Araneo Jun 2017

Nervous Salomes: New York Salomania And The Neurological Condition Of Modernité, Margaret K. Araneo

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In January 1907, New York City had its first major encounter with the figure of Salome. Appearing on three large stages in the city simultaneously, the archetype of the dancing girl quickly became an object of controversy. Her appearance at the Metropolitan Opera House in its staging of Strauss’s Salome resulted in public debate and the ultimate closure of the performance by the Met’s Board of Directors. The event brought attention to the Salome archetype’s already contested character. Salome arrived in the United States from Europe where she had been the subject of a quarter century of ...


Embodying Rhythm Nation: Multimodal Hip Hop Dance As A Site For Adolescent Social-Emotional And Political Development, Lauren M. Roygardner Jun 2017

Embodying Rhythm Nation: Multimodal Hip Hop Dance As A Site For Adolescent Social-Emotional And Political Development, Lauren M. Roygardner

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This exploratory study employed qualitative methodology, specifically values analysis, to learn more about how being involved within Hip hop dance communities positively relates to adolescent development. Adolescence was defined herein as ages 13-23. The study investigated Hip hop dance communities in terms of cultural expertise (i.e. novice, intermediate and advanced/expert) to look specifically at dance narratives (i.e. peak experience narratives and “I dance because” essays) and hip hop dance performances. The primary purpose of this dissertation was to (1) explore how adolescents use multimodal Hip hop dance discourse for social-emotional development and critical consciousness, and to (2 ...


Dark Stars Of The Evening: Performing African American Citizenship And Identity In Germany, 1890-1920, Kristin L. Moriah Jun 2017

Dark Stars Of The Evening: Performing African American Citizenship And Identity In Germany, 1890-1920, Kristin L. Moriah

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Dark Stars of the Evening: Performing African American Citizenship and Identity in Germany, 1890-1920 demonstrates that black performers in Germany developed wide networks in the performance world as they sought artistic opportunities beyond the racist circumscription of the American popular stage. Their performances became emblematic of modernity, globalization, and imperial might for German audiences at the turn of the century. African American-styled blackness contributed to the formation of the city of Berlin while allowing African American performers to assert themselves on the global stage. Groups like the Four Black Diamonds had a lengthy engagement with the popular stage in Berlin ...


Twenty-First-Century Transnational Theatre Development In The Cases Of Théâtre Du Soleil/Aftaab And Sundance Institute East Africa: Cultural Politics, Performance Aesthetics, And Global Circulation, Julia Goldstein Jun 2017

Twenty-First-Century Transnational Theatre Development In The Cases Of Théâtre Du Soleil/Aftaab And Sundance Institute East Africa: Cultural Politics, Performance Aesthetics, And Global Circulation, Julia Goldstein

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This dissertation examines two case studies of twenty-first-century transnational theatre development programs in which arts organizations from wealthy countries in the Global North extend resources and support for the professional development of theatre artists in regions in the Global South. The first case study takes up the French theatre company Théâtre du Soleil’s work in Afghanistan, starting in 2005, leading to the formation of the Afghan theatre company Aftaab and the next ten years of Soleil’s support of and collaboration with Aftaab, transpiring both in Kabul and Paris. The second case study examines the Sundance Institute East Africa ...


Ecologies Of The Passions In Early Modern English Tragedies, Roya Biggie Feb 2017

Ecologies Of The Passions In Early Modern English Tragedies, Roya Biggie

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Ecologies of the Passions recovers a neglected model for understanding early modern relationality, one that turns the seemingly inward experience of emotion outward toward the environment. Drawing on early modern medical texts, I argue that the period’s dramatists imagine bodies as humorally vulnerable to other bodies, both human and nonhuman, within dynamically affective environments. As such, my project illustrates the intimate configurations of human and nonhuman life in early modern tragedies. Building upon recent work in the emerging fields of ecocriticism and affect theory, I argue that the period’s dramatic literature exposes the porous fluidity of the Galenic ...