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Disclosing Intertextualities

The Stories, Plays, and Novels of Susan Glaspell


Edited by Martha C. Carpentier and Barbara Ozieblo

For the first time, this volume brings together essays by feminist, Americanist, and theater scholars who apply a variety of sophisticated critical approaches to Susan Glaspell’s entire oeuvre. Glaspell’s one-act play, “Trifles,” and the short story that she constructed from it, “A Jury of Her Peers,” have drawn the attention of many feminist critics, but the rest of her writing—the short stories, plays and novels—is largely unknown. The essays gathered here will allow students of literature, women’s studies and theater studies an insight into the variety and scope of her oeuvre.
Glaspell’s political and literary thinking was radicalized by the turbulent Greenwich Village environment of the first decades of the twentieth century, by progressive-era social movements and by modernist literary and theatrical innovation. The focus of Glaspell studies has, till recently, been dominated by the feminist imperative to recover a canon of silenced women writers and, in particular, to restore Glaspell to her rightful place in American drama. Transcending the limitations generated by such a specific agenda, the contributors to this volume approach Glaspell’s work as a dialogic intersection of genres, texts, and cultural phenomena—a method that is particularly apt for Glaspell, who moved between genres with a unique fluidity, creating such modernist masterpieces as The Verge or Brook Evans. This volume establishes Glaspell’s work as an “intersection of textual surfaces,” resulting for the first time in the complex aesthetic appreciation that her varied life’s work merits.

Voices of Justice and Reason

Apartheid and Beyond in South African Literature


Geoffrey V. Davis

Over the past fifty years transformations of great moment have taken place in South Africa. Apartheid and the subsequent transition to a democratic, non-racial society in particular have exercised a profound effect on the practice of literature.
This study traces the development of literature under apartheid, then seeks to identify the ways in which writers and theatre practitioners are now facing the challenges of a new social order.
The main focus is on the work of black writers, prime among them Matsemela Manaka, Mtutuzeli Matshoba and Richard Rive, who, as politically committed members of the oppressed majority, bore witness to the “black experience” through their writing. Despite the draconian censorship system they were able to address the social problems caused by racial discrimination in all areas of life, particularly through forced removals, the migrant labour system, and the creation of the homelands. Their writing may be read both as a comprehensive record of everyday life under apartheid and as an alternative cultural history of South Africa.
Particular attention is paid to theatre as a barometer of social change in South Africa.
The concluding chapters consider how in the current period of transition writers and arts institutions have set about reassessing their priorities, redefining their function and seeking new aesthetic directions in taking up the challenge of imagining a new society.

Moving Subjects

Processional Performance in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance


Edited by Kathleen Ashley and Wim Hüsken

Procession, arguably the most ubiquitous and versatile public performance mode until the seventeenth century, has received little scholarly or theoretical attention. Yet, this form of social behaviour has been so thoroughly naturalised in our accounts of western European history that it merited little comment as a cultural performance choice over many centuries until recently, when a generation of cultural historians using explanatory models from anthropology called attention to the processional mode as a privileged vehicle for articulation in its society. Their analyses, however, tended to focus on the issue of whether processions produced social harmony or reinforced social distinctions, potentially leading to conflict. While such questions are not ignored in this collection of essays, its primary purpose is to reflect upon salient theatrical aspects of processions that may help us understand how in the performance of “moving subjects” they accomplished their often transformative cultural work.


Edited by Graham Jackman

Unlike many writers from the former GDR, Christoph Hein's reputation and standing - and his creativity - have remained intact despite the demise of the GDR in 1989-90. Christoph Hein in Perspective brings together essays by both established and younger scholars from Britain, Germany and the USA which together cover a wide spectrum of his work, from the early writings of the 1970s to the play In Acht und Bann of 1999 and including his speeches and essays as well as all his major prose works. There is a marked emphasis in the volume on Hein's post- Wende output, with about half the contributions focusing primarily on this period. Another feature is the diversity of perspectives from which the works are examined: historical and political viewpoints are complemented by formal and comparative studies as well as by gender-based perspectives. The volume includes additionally the first published English translation of what is for many Hein's most successful work for the stage, Die wahre Geschichte des Ah Q of 1983 (‘The True Story of Ah Q'). The volume as a whole should be of interest to scholars concerned with the GDR and with contemporary German culture, to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and also the others interested in the history and culture of Germany since 1945. Six of the essays are in English and six in German.

Heiner Müller

Probleme und Perspektiven Bath-Symposion 1998


Edited by Ian Wallace, Dennis Tate and Gerd Labroisse

Edited by Hans van Maanen and S.E. Wilmer

Theatre Worlds in Motion aims to clarify the different theatre traditions and practices in Western Europe from a historical and sociological perspective. The book grew out of a perceived need among theatre scholars who had recognised that, while they understood the theatre system of their own country, they often found it difficult to discover how it compared with other countries. The chapters analyse the basic components and dynamics of theatre systems in seventeen Western European nations in order to elucidate how the systems function in general and how they vary in different cultures. The book provides a sense of what has been happening recently in particular countries, and indicates how the theatre systems have developed over time and have led to the current practices and structures. Each national chapter considers the historical tradition and place of theatre within the country and analyses the role of the state in fostering theatre during the last fifty years. Material from the national chapters has been used in two general chapters at the beginning and end of the book to provide an overview to developments in all Western Europe. The introductory chapter on decentralisation discusses the tendency amongst governments to encourage cultural development outside the national capital by providing subsidy for regional theatre venues and theatre companies and, in many cases, by developing the decision-making and budgetary powers for the theatre to regional and local authorities. The epilogue on the functioning of theatre examines the common structures of theatre in society as described in the seventeen national chapters, and it proposes areas for future research.


Jane Plastow

This study, the first book-length treatment of its subject, draws on a large base of elusive material and on extensive field research. It is the result of the author's wide experience of teaching and producing theatre in Africa, and of her fascination with the ways in which traditional performance forms have interacted with, or have resisted, non-indigenous modes of dramatic representation in the process of evolving into the vital theatres of the present day. A comparative historical study is offered of the three national cultures of Ethiopia, Tanganyika/Tanzania, and Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. Not only (scripted) drama is treated, but also theatre in the sense of the broader range of performance arts such as dance and song. The development of theatre and drama is seen against the background of centuries of cultural evolution and interaction, from pre-colonial times, through phases of African and European imperialism, to the liberation struggles and newly-won independence of the present. The seminal relationship between theatre, society and politics is thus a central focus. Topics covered include: the function in theatre of vernacular and colonial languages; performance forms under feudal, communalist and socialist régimes; cultural militancy and political critique; the relationship of theatre to social élites and to the peasant class; state control (funding and censorship); racism and separate development in the performing arts; contemporary performance structures (amateur, professional, community and university theatre). Due attention is paid to prominent dramatists, theatre groups and theatre directors, and the author offers new insight into African perceptions of the role of the artist in the theatre, as well as dealing with the important subject of gender roles (in drama, in performance ritual, and in theatre practice). The book is illustrated with contemporary photographs.

Ritual Remembering

History, Myth and Politics in Anglo-Irish Drama


Edited by C.C. Barfoot and Rias van den Doel

Most of the essays in Ritual Remembering: History, Myth and Politics in Anglo-Irish Drama, in part or in whole, frequently allude or directly concern themselves with the dramatic representation of the opposition or the collusion of myth and history, and the uses and abuses of both. Equally they celebrate and critically analyse the politics of the social conscience and social consciousness which pervades Irish drama in its rituals of forgetfulness and memory. Perhaps myth is above all to be understood as the conscience and consciousness of history; and politics is the projection of that myth into present social action - on the hustings (nowadays more frequently the television hustings), at the ballot box, in writing and on the stage. Most of the articles in this volume revolve around these gravely portentous and ambivalent themes, which nobody who is as much concerned with Anglo-Irish relations as with Anglo-Irish literature can disregard or evade.

Theatre Intercontinental

Forms, functions, correspondences


Edited by C.C. Barfoot and Cobi Bordewijk

Most of the essays in this volume developed from a series of lectures on the forms and functions of theatre in different cultures, and correspondences between them, organized by the Leiden University Department of Theatre and Film Studies. Some contributions to this volume discuss origins, forms and functions of theatre in the Far and in the Middle East, as well as how in some cases the contemporary theatre in these cultures have managed to incorporate Western theatrical elements into their local traditions. Other articles consider how such twentieth-century Western dramatists as Yeats, Brecht and Beckett have been inspired by Asian theatre forms; how Western theatre-goers have misunderstood the true nature of Russian drama; how the inspiration of the best known of those Russian playwrights has manifested itself in the work of an American film-maker; and how African dance has helped to reshape North Atlantic modern and post-modern choreography. Thus this collection is arranged to take the reader on a journey of discovery, or possibly recovery, from China to Japan, from India to Africa, from Iran to Turkey, to Russia and finally from Moscow to Manhattan. Theatre Intercontinental will be of value to scholars, teachers and students with an interest in how theatre manifests itself in various cultures, how it originated, what needs it fulfils and how it is affected by cross-cultural influences. It provides a few tentative conclusions, some thought provoking questions and, we hope, the stimulus to compare the issues raised here with theatrical cultures not covered by this book.