Shakespeare’s Things: Shakespearean Theatre and the Non-Human World in History, Theory, and Performance, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Shakespeare’s Things

Shakespearean Theatre and the Non-Human World in History, Theory, and Performance, 1st Edition

Edited by Brett Gamboa, Lawrence Switzky


288 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367429072
pub: 2020-01-15
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Severed heads, floating daggers, enchanted handkerchiefs, and moving statues have tantalized Shakespeare’s readers and audiences for centuries. Shakespeare’s Things: Shakespearean Theatre and the Non-Human World in History, Theory, and Performance invites new critical attention to non-human agents and influences, while aiming to revolutionize the interpretations of the uncanny, the supernatural, and the fantastic in Shakespeare’s plays.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The King is a Thing—and so is Everything Else-- Brett Gamboa and Lawrence Switzky

PART I: "The Thing Itself": The Nonhuman World in its Early Modern Contexts

Chapter 1. "A World of Dirt and Feet: Shoes, Actors, and the Creation of Theatrical Space" -- Natasha Korda (Wesleyan University)

Chapter 2. "Duelling Temporalities of Persons and Things: Mirrors and Queer Materialism in Macbeth" -- John Garrison (Carroll University)

Chapter 3. "Semi-Life and Theatrical Representation: Infants on Shakespeare’s Stages -- Megan Snell (University of Texas at Austin)

Chapter 4. "‘Rush to Knowledge’: Breath, Speech, and Wind between the Human and the Nonhuman in The Winter’s Tale" -- Julia Lupton (UC Irvine)

Chapter 5. "Science, Politics, and Sovereignty: Vitalism and Early Modern Theories of Materiality in King Lear" -- Aaron Greenberg (Northwestern University)

PART II: "Things in Heaven and Earth": Theorizing the Non-Human Turn with Shakespeare

Chapter 6. "T. S. Eliot and His Problems: Human Emotions and Compliant Objects in Hamlet" -- Andrew Sofer (Boston College)

Chapter 7. "Beyond the Pathetic Fallacy: Human and Nonhuman Subjectivities in Macbeth and King Lear" -- Giles Whiteley (Stockholm University)

Chapter 8. "Feminist Things: Shakespeare’s Women, De-Animated and Re-Animated" -- Kelsey Blair (Simon Fraser University)

Chapter 9. "The Obligation to Keep: Gift Economies and the Inalienability of Things in The Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure" -- Peter Saval (Brown University)

PART III: "Carnal, Bloody and Unnatural Acts": Things in Performance

Chapter 10. "Puppets Dallying: Performing Objects and Shakespearean Theatricality" -- Kenneth Gross (University of Rochester)

Chapter 11. "Human Remains: Acting, Objects, and Belief in Performance" -- Aoife Monks (Queen Mary, University of London)

Chapter 12. "Shakespeare as Props Master" -- Brett Gamboa (Dartmouth College)

Chapter 13. "Macbeth and the Avant-Garde Marionette: Nonhuman Shakespeare and the Origins of Theatrical Symbolism" -- Lucian Ghita (Clemson University)

Chapter 14. "Gordon Craig’s Staging of Hamlet and King Lear: Modernist Adaptations of Shakespeare" -- Christopher Innes (York University)

Chapter 15. "Art, Objecthood, and the Extended Audience: Forced Entertainment’s Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare" -- Lawrence Switzky (University of Toronto)

Chapter 16. "Interview with Forced Entertainment: Compete Works: Table Top Shakespeare"

Chapter 17. "Afterword: Shake That Thing" -- Marjorie Garber (Harvard University)

About the Editors

Dr. Brett Gamboa is an Assistant Professor of English, Dartmouth College

Dr. Lawrence Switzky is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Toronto in Mississauga

About the Series

Perspectives on the Non-Human in Literature and Culture

In recent years, many disciplines within the humanities have become increasingly concerned with non-human actors and entities. The environment, animals, machines, objects, weather, and other non-human beings and things have taken center stage to challenge assumptions about what we have traditionally called "the human." Informed by theoretical approaches like posthumanism, the new materialisms, (including Actor Network Theory, Object-Oriented Ontology, and similar approaches) ecocriticism, and critical animal studies, such scholarship has until now had no separate and identifiable collective home at an academic press. This series will provide that home, publishing work that shares a concern with the non-human in literary and cultural studies. The series invites single-authored books and essay collections that focus primarily on literary texts, but from an interdisciplinary, theoretically-informed perspective; it will include work that crosses geographical and period boundaries. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
DRAMA / Shakespeare
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Nature