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Volume Editors: Sandra Dinter and Johanna Marquardt
Often thought of as a thing of the past, nationalism remains surprisingly resilient in the postcolonial era, especially since the concepts of multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism have lost authority in recent years. The contributions assembled in Nationalism and the Postcolonial examine various forms, representations, and consequences of past and present nationalisms in languages, popular culture, and literature in or associated with Australia, Canada, England, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago Bringing together perspectives from linguistics, political science, cultural studies, and literary studies, the collection illustrates how postcolonial nationalism functions as a unifying mechanism of anti-colonial nation-building as well as a divisive force that can encourage discrimination and violence.

Contributors: Natascha Bing, Prachi Gupta, Ralf Haekel, Kathrin Härtl, Idreas Khandy, Theresa Krampe, Lukas Lammers, Arhea Marshall, Hannah Pardey, Sina Schuhmaier, Hanna Teichler, Michael Westphal
Volume Editors: John M. Clum and Natka Bianchini
Albee and Influence is the fourth volume in the series New Directions in Edward Albee Studies sponsored by the Edward Albee Society. The volume contains essays, written by leading Albee scholars, that focus on literary and philosophical influences on Edward Albee’s plays as well as essays on writers and works that Albee influenced. Essays focus on Albee’s relationship with such major American playwrights as Thornton Wilder, Amiri Baraka, Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson and John Guare. There are also contributions on Albee’s work as mentor to young playwrights. The volume also includes an interview with award-winning director Pam McKinnon.
In: Albee and Influence
Author: Philipp Reisner

Abstract

Animal sacrifice occupies a central place in Edward Albee’s plays. In The Zoo Story, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, A Delicate Balance, and The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?, animal sacrifice constitutes for Albee a lifelong exploration into the bestiality of human nature. It also reflects an intimate connection to the human need for recognition and love. It is often overlooked, however, that in Albee’s plays the phenomenon of sacrifice may be understood in light of the Judeo-Christian tradition and that his plays exhibit numerous allusions to biblical texts and motifs. Theses allusions compel his audience to reflect upon the theology of sacrifice and the complex religious questions connected to this practice. The influence of the Judeo-Christian tradition may also be found in the work of contemporary playwrights such as David Adjmi, Ann Marie Healey, and David Henry Hwang, who take up similar religious themes and develop them further. They stage humans as subjects and objects of sacrifice made bearable through resurrection that takes place on and off the stage.

In: Albee and Influence
Author: Douglas S. Kern

Abstract

This essay focuses on Edward Albee’s contributions to Amiri Baraka’s work as a playwright and the ways in which Baraka’s dramatic output responded to Albee’s early one-act plays. Though the concept of influence is often problematic, and despite his admission that Albee was never his friend, Baraka did comment on and respond to Albee’s influence as a playwright. It’s just that these responses are never the sort of tributes one might expect for an author such as Albee. A closer look at his work reveals Baraka’s vast knowledge of literature, theatre, and criticism crossing a wide range of cultures and influence. Just as Baraka honors and echoes writers such as Malcolm X, Langston Hughes, or even Clifford Odets within his plays, there are moments within his drama that directly respond to and outright critique other writers. Albee is no exception. As case studies, this essay explores critical responses to Albee and his early one-acts—namely, The Zoo Story, Fam and Yam, and The Death of Bessie Smith—found within Baraka’s Dutchman, The Slave, and The Death of Malcolm X. These underexplored responses—and dramatic conversations—underpin this essay’s investigation.

In: Albee and Influence
In: Albee and Influence
Author: Natka Bianchini

Abstract

Pam MacKinnon, Tony, Obie, and Drama Desk award-winning director and newly-named artistic director of the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, directed her first Albee production, The Play About the Baby, for Philadelphia Theatre Company in 2002. Since then she has directed six different Albee plays in twelve different productions, including the 2012 Broadway revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which led to her first Tony award for direction. We sat down at Playwrights Horizon in May, 2018, to talk about her collaboration with Albee, the man she attributes to giving her career a direction and an “artistic spine.”

In: Albee and Influence
In: Albee and Influence
In: Albee and Influence
Author: John M. Clum

Abstract

This essay focuses on the relationship between Edward Albee’s work and that of gay playwright Nicky Silver, whose career began in 1989. While many gay playwrights during the AIDS epidemic were focusing on plays about urban gay men and the formation of intentional families and gay communities, Silver’s work, like Albee’s, centers on dysfunctional American nuclear families. Unlike Albee, with whom he is often compared, Nicky Silver is a playwright whose work usually contains central gay characters, albeit unhappy ones, and gay themes. After an introductory section on Albee’s attitude toward gay drama, the essay is devoted to comparisons of Silver’s work, particularly his plays Pterodactyls, The Lyons, and Beautiful Child, with Albee’s work. While direct influence is not always provable, there are strong similarities between the work of the two playwrights.

In: Albee and Influence