Staging Place: The Geography of Modern Drama
Staging Place: The Geography of Modern Drama reimagines the content and continuities of theater history and exposes underlying dialogues between "home and homelessness, belonging and exile"--a century-long struggle with the meaning and power of place, which the author terms "geopathology." By reading canonical works in conjunction with contemporary ones, Chaudhuri charts the evolution of a dramatic paradigm with profound theatrical and thematic implications.
Chaudhuri starts with a discussion of a "poetics of exile" in early modern drama, where the figure of home is constructed as a locus of two conflicting impulses: the desire to find a stable site for individual identity and the desire to deterritorialize the self. By mid-century, she argues, a new discourse of "failed homecoming" begins to displace this geopathic model and replace the poetics of exile with a grim anti-poetics of immigration. She then employs postmodern and postcolonial theories of place and culture to define the emerging multiculturalism as a creative reworking of the figures of home, homecoming, homelessness, immigration and exile.
"This is a book of real originality. Its treatment of space in modern drama is elegant and powerful. . . ." --William B. Worthen, Northwestern University
"Staging Place is a powerfully written book, deft in its handling of familiar and unfamiliar plays alike and eclectic in its use of theatrical sources." --Essays in Theatre/ Études théâtrales
"This sophisticated and well-written study for graduate students and their teachers explores modern drama's preoccupation with the seemingly irreconcilable discontinuities between the notions of home and homelessness, belonging and exile. . . . The readings of individual plays are fresh and invigorating. . . ." --Choice
Una Chaudhuri is Associate Professor of English, New York University.
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alienation Angels in America audience Bradley buried child called Caryl Churchill Chan characterology characters coded Colored Museum contemporary course cultural difference discourse of home displacement Doll's House dramaturgy dream Ekdal emphasis added environmental theater evoked experience fact figure of America figure of home final Florina geopathic geopathology Halina hermeneutic homecoming homelessness Ibsen's idea identity ideological immigration Javier Jean Jean's journey kind language literal living logic Mad Forest meaning Miss Julie modern drama multicultural myth narrative naturalistic nature Neil Sedaka Neville Neville's Nora Nora's Nuit Blanche Peirce performance Pinter play play's plot poetics of exile politics problematic protagonists realist drama relationship representation role Romania says scene seems sense Shepard's Spalding Gray spatial spectator stage space stereotypes story Strindberg's structure suggests symbolic Teddy tell theatrical thematic things tion total visibility traditional transgressive trope woman