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Global Domesticities: The Family Drama and the Capitalist World-Economy
  • Monday, July 10, 2023 - 11:00am to 1:00pm

FBH Faculty Lounge

Please join us on Monday, July 10th, at 11:00 AM in the FBH Faculty Lounge, when David Buchanan will defend his dissertation, "Global Domesticities: The Family Drama and the Capitalist World-Economy." 

This dissertation explores the persistent intersection of domesticity and global capitalism in twentieth- and twenty-first century drama. Reassessing canonical family dramas by Henrik Ibsen, Arthur Miller, August Wilson, and Caryl Churchill, and reading new works by Helen Edmundson, Natasha Gordon, and Stefano Massini and Ben Power, this project considers how the long histories of transatlantic imperialism shape dramatic presentations of the household and the nation. It investigates how racial capitalism and settler colonialism on the plantations and frontiers of the Americas produced the conventions of family life including property ownership and inheritance. Building on scholarship on the Atlantic world and capitalist modernity, I show how these domestic dramas depict the economic and psychic consequences of the land dispossession and the transatlantic slave trade of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries on our contemporary world through the dynamics of familial relationships. This dissertation thus rethinks the lineages and concerns of modern drama by showing how domestic scenarios are embedded in an increasingly vast network of social and economic relations, axial and gendered divisions of labor, and class struggles and solidarities, and by exploring the exploitative dynamics that link Europe, the Americas, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia.'

Committee: Ania Loomba (chair) | Jed Esty | Suvir Kaul

David will meet privately with his committee from 10 am to 11 am. The public presentation of the defense will begin in the FBH Faculty Lounge at approximately 11:15 am, followed by a reception, where we'll toast the newly-minted Dr. Buchanan!

For those joining virtually, please use the following Zoom link: