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Theatrical Cultures in Early Modern England (EAS2036)

30 credits

Theatrical Cultures in Early Modern England focuses on the ‘golden age’ of English drama from the Elizabethan period through to the Civil War. Each week, you will explore a new performance environment, so that over the course of the term you will acquire a nuanced understanding of the performance culture that shaped the work of Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, Carey and their fellow playwrights.

Through the prism of theatre history, the module explores early modern cross-dressing and queer identities and investigates how popular and elite culture responded to immigration and the beginnings of colonial expansion and the slave trade. The module’s texts illuminate how increasing opportunities for women’s participation in theatrical culture, foreign policy under Elizabeth I and James I and the growth of a mercantile middle class are related to the development of English drama.

This module is aimed at SH English and CH English and Drama or History students. It has no prerequisites, although stage 1 module EAS1041 “Rethinking Shakespeare” is a good preparation.