Hysteria, Trauma and Melancholia: Performative Maladies in Contemporary Anglophone Drama

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Palgrave Macmillan, Oct 11, 2007 - Drama - 289 pages
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Hysteria, trauma and melancholia have not only become powerful tropes in modern-day culture at large; they are also prominent in the theatre. How do contemporary plays employ these concepts? How does the staging of these 'disorders' affect the aesthetics of the plays? What exchange relations between theory and theatre can be traced? Christina Wald pursues such questions in this new study, establishing the characteristics and concerns of 'The Drama of Hysteria', 'Trauma Drama' and 'The Drama of Melancholia' through in-depth readings of works by playwrights such as Anna Furse, Jerry Johnson, Sarah, Daniels, Phylis Nagy, Claire Dowie, David Auburn, Marina Carr and Sarah Kane. Conceptualising hysteria, trauma and melancholia as 'performative maladies', Wald educes an exciting interaction of theatrical performance, psychiatric and psychoanalytic theory, and the theory of gender performativity.

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Can performativity materialise as performance?
The Drama of Hysteria

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About the author (2007)

CHRISTINA WALD is Assistant Professor of English Literature at the University of Augsburg, Germany. She has co-edited a book on the rhetorical figure of repetition (Kippfiguren der Wiederholung, 2007) and published articles on contemporary and early modern drama, feminist and gender theory, and on filmic adaptations of Jane Austen's novels.

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