Funded under the 2011 Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowships scheme, European Commission
25-26 September 2014
Faculty of English Language and Literature, University of Oxford
Convenor: Dr Tiziana Morosetti (Oxford)
Professor Ross Forman (Warwick), Dr Peter Yeandle (Manchester),
Dr Hazel Waters (Institute of Race Relations, London)
Increasing attention has been paid in recent years to the representation of the Other on the 19th-century British stage, with key studies such as Acts of Supremacy: The British Empire and the Stage, 1790-1930 (Bratton et al. 1991), The Orient on the Victorian Stage (Ziter 2003), Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910 (Brooks 2006), Racism on the Victorian Stage: Representation of Slavery and the Black Character (Waters 2007), Nineteenth-Century Theatre and the Imperial Encounter (Gould 2011), China and the Victorian Imagination: Empires Entwined (Forman 2013). Building on these, the conference aims at exploring the concept, politics, and aesthetic features of the ‘exotic’ body on stage, be it the actual body of the actor/actress as s/he performs in genres such as the ‘Oriental’ extravaganza, or the fictional, ‘picturesque’ bodies they bring on stage. A term that in itself needs interrogation, the ‘exotic’ will therefore be discussed addressing the visual features that characterize the construction and representation of the Other in 19th-century British drama, as well as the material conditions, and techniques that accompany the ‘exotic’ on stage on the cultural and political background of imperial Britain.
One of the dissemination activities for the two-year project ‘The Representation of the “Exotic” Body in 19th-century English Drama’ (REBED), funded under the 2011 Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowships scheme, the conference also hopes to function as a site for discussing the state of the art on the ‘exotic’ in the theatrical cultures of both Romantic and Victorian Britain; contributions on ongoing research and/or recently completed projects are therefore particularly encouraged.
Although attention will be paid mostly to the non-European Other, papers addressing a European ‘exotic’ are also welcome.
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