In this year’s version of the course, Roger Chartier and Peter Stallybrass will concentrate on drama in England, France, and Spain. All the reading will be available in English. The plays will include Marston’s The Malcontent, Shakespeare’s Pericles, Beaumont’s The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Webster’s The White Devil, Molière’s The Misanthrope and Don Juan, and plays by Pedro Calderón de la Barca and Lope de Vega.
The topics that we will consider will include: the nature of theatrical authorship; the use of sources and commonplace books in the writing of plays; licensing and religious and political censorship; actors’ parts; the relations between text and performance; the conditions of production, including the function of costumes, theatrical space, and props; authorial and playhouse revisions; and the manuscript circulation and the printing and publishing of plays.
We will draw wherever possible on the exceptional collection of early modern drama in Penn’s Special Collections.