This collection of original essays honors the groundbreaking scholarship of Jean E. Howard by exploring cultural and economic constructions of affect in the early modern theater. While historicist and materialist inquiry has dominated early modern theater studies in recent years, the historically specific dimensions of affect and emotion remain underexplored. This volume brings together these lines of inquiry for the first time, exploring the critical turn to affect in literary studies from a historicist perspective to demonstrate how the early modern theater showcased the productive interconnections between historical contingencies and affective attachments. Considering well-known plays such as Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and Thomas Dekker’s The Shoemaker’s Holiday together with understudied texts such as court entertainments, and examining topics ranging from dramatic celebrity to women’s political agency to the parental emotion of grief, this volume provides a fresh and at times provocative assessment of the "historical affects"—financial, emotional, and socio-political—that transformed Renaissance theater. Instead of treating history and affect as mutually exclusive theoretical or philosophical contexts, the essays in this volume ask readers to consider how drama emplaces the most personal, unspeakable passions in matrices defined in part by financial exchange, by erotic desire, by gender, by the material body, and by theatricality itself. As it encourages this conversation to take place, the collection provides scholars and students alike with a series of new perspectives, not only on the plays, emotions, and histories discussed in its pages, but also on broader shifts and pressures animating literary studies today.
Table of Contents
Introduction Ronda Arab, Michelle M. Dowd, and Adam Zucker Part I: Struggling with the Stage 1. Going Through the Motions: Affects, Machines, and John Ford’s The Broken Heart Patricia Cahill 2. Magnetic Theaters Benedict Robinson 3. Feeling Unhistorical Ellen MacKay 4. Literary Celebrity and Theatrical Culture in Shirley’s Bird in a Cage Allison K. Deutermann Part II: Engendering… 5. Monstrous Teardrops: The Materiality of Early Modern Affection Ian Frederick Moulton 6. "Displeas’d ambitious TONGUE": Lingua and Lingual Duality Lianne Habinek 7. "Come, Eros, Eros!": Re-reading Emotion and Affect in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra Jyostna Singh Part III: …A Nation 8. Wondering in Henry VIII or All is True Tiffany Werth 9. Angelica and Franceschina: The Italianate Characters of Juliet’s Nurse Bianca Finzi-Contini Calabresi 10. The Mirror and the Cage: Queens and Dwarfs at the Early Modern Court Pamela Allen Brown 11. Gold Digger or Golden Girl?: Purifying the Pursuit of Gold in Heywood’s Fair Maid of the West, Part I Jane Hwang Degenhardt Part IV: Theater of a City 12. Civic Affect and Female Political Agency in Sir Thomas More Mario DiGangi 13. Corporate Life in Thomas Dekker’s The Shoemaker’s Holiday Henry S. Turner 14. Transforming the Younger Son: The Disruptive Affect of the Gentleman-Apprentice in Eastward Ho Ronda Arab 15. Managing Fear: The Commerce in Blackness and the London Lord Mayors’ Shows Ian Smith Afterward Phyllis Rackin
Ronda Arab, Associate Professor of English at Simon Fraser University, is the author of Manly Mechanicals on the Early Modern English Stage (2011), an examination of the gender status of working men in Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
Michelle M. Dowd is Associate Professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She is the author of Women’s Work in Early Modern English Literature and Culture (2009) and The Dynamics of Inheritance on the Shakespearean Stage (forthcoming 2015).
Adam Zucker is Associate Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the author of The Places of Wit in Early Modern English Comedy and the co-editor of Localizing Caroline Drama: Politics and Economics of the Early Modern English Stage, 1625-1642.