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Spectacle, Rhetoric and Power

The Triumphal Entry of Prince Philip of Spain into Antwerp

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Stijn Bussels

In 1549, Prince Philip of Spain made his entry into Antwerp together with his father, Emperor Charles V. For this occasion the rich city of commerce was transformed into a large theatrical space with triumphal arches and tableaux vivants as stage settings. The citizens and the princes acted as actors in a splendid parade, a battle array of four thousand participants, impressive tournaments and a huge firework display. This resulted in one of the most expensive and impressive festivities of the early modern period. The organizing municipality drew on various theatrical genres in an effort to bring about a renewal in the existing power relations between the Habsburg rulers and themselves, as well as the relations of the rulers with the population. Exactly how the city and the monarch were depicted was illustrative of the precious balance of power between the Habsburgs and the city fathers and of both parties toward their respective subjects. How these power relations were precisely staged in Antwerp is studied in this book.

Politics Otherwise

Shakespeare as Social and Political Critique

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Edited by Leonidas Donskis and J.D. Mininger

The book is comprised of essays that utilize Shakespeare as a productive window into topics of contemporary social and political relevance. Its interdisciplinary qualities make the book relevant for students of political studies, literature, philosophy, cultural studies, and history.

Festivalising!

Theatrical Events, Politics and Culture

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Edited by Temple Hauptfleisch, Shulamith Lev-Aladgem, Jacqueline Martin, Willmar Sauter and Henri Schoenmakers

Throughout the world festivals are growing – in numbers, in size, in significance – and serve as spaces where aesthetic encounters, religious and political celebrations, economic investments and public entertainment can take place. In this sense, festivals are theatrical events.
This volume contains discussions of 14 diverse festival events from five continents across the globe, written by members of the IFTR/FIRT Working Group on the Theatrical Event, the same group that has produced the ground-breaking study Theatrical Events – Borders Dynamics Frames in 2004 (also published by Rodopi). The events discussed here range from traditional carnivals and festivals to more controversial theatre, dance and opera festivals, children’s festivals and community events, as well as saints’ and workers’ festivities. All of these constitute part of the local playing cultures and take on significant political roles, nationally and regionally.
The authors explore and extend the theoretical frames of reference for any contemporary discussion of theatrical events and festivals, in order to provide a new and fresh perspective on past and present festival culture across the globe.

The Final Curtain

State Funerals and the Theatre of Power

Series:

Harry Garlick

Death is the one subject about which our culture is still reticent. Consequently many ceremonies about death are not examined in an open, enquiring and direct way. The state funeral, that large, public, ritualized statement about death is accepted in our society, while its deeper significances remain unexamined because it is seen as something of an historical curiosity, a survival from an earlier age associated with the traditions of that society. This well-illustrated study of a number of state funerals - of the Medicis and the Habsburgs in the Renaissance, of the Duke of Albemarle in the seventeenth century, of the Duke of Wellington and Abraham Lincoln in the nineteenth century, and of President Kennedy and Diana, Princess of Wales in the twentieth century - and the mythical structures and traditions they represent, examines two aspects in particular: the strongly political undertones of the public statements, and the theatrical elements of the public ritual.