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Querying Difference in Theatre History

Editor(s): Ann Haugo, Scott Magelssen
Contributors: John Fletcher, Andrew Gibb, Shauna Vey, Alan Sikes, Elena Garcia-Martin, Dongshin Chang, Jodi Van Der Horn-Gibson,

Book Description

Terms such as race, ethnicity, otherness, and pluralism are becoming increasingly problematic as we grapple with issues of identity in the “post-multicultural” discursive landscape of the twenty-first century. Querying Difference in Theatre History comprises sixteen scholarly case studies in which authors tease out the limitations of contemporary discourse concerning ideas of difference in theatre history today. The essays then incorporate new approaches, theories, and critical vocabulary for dealing with such issues. Unlike other works that address similar subjects, this volume arranges essays by mode of inquiry rather than by “kind of difference.” It offers essays that are complex and rigorous, yet accessible and pleasurable—ideal for use in graduate- and upper-division undergraduate theatre and performance classrooms.

While “difference” may immediately conjure issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and/or sexuality, this volume also includes essays that examine differences more broadly construed: nationalisms, economic gradations, and so forth. Particular topics in this volume range from intersections of class-based and sex-based politics in theatrical performances during the French Revolution, constructions of blackness and whiteness in turn-of-the-century American brothel dramas, “fantasy heritage,” examinations of immigrant, exile, and refugee dramatic characters vis-à-vis notions of diasporic space, to the political and methodological dilemmas raised when dealing with an individual or event that is “repugnant” or “despicable” to the historian (e.g., anti-gay funeral protests).


ISBN-13: 978-1-8471-8303-3
ISBN-10: 1-84718-303-4
Date of Publication: 01/10/2007
Pages / Size: 195 / A5
Price: £29.99


Scott Magelssen teaches theatre history at Bowling Green State University. His articles appear in Theatre History Studies, New Theatre Quarterly, Visual Communication, National Identities, The Journal of Religion and Theatre, TDR, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Performance Research, Theatre Annual, Theatre Survey, Theatre Journal and Theatre Topics. He is the author of Living History Museums: Undoing History Through Performance (Scarecrow Press, 2007).

An Assistant Professor of Theatre at Illinois State University, Ann Haugo has published on indigenous theatre in The Color of Theatre: A Critical Sourcebook in Race and Performance, American Indian Theatre: A Reader, The Cambridge Companion to Native American Literature, and the Blackwell Companion to Twentieth-Century American Drama, and various periodicals.