The Representation of the 'Exotic' Body in 19th-Ce.. (REBED)
The Representation of the 'Exotic' Body in 19th-Century English Drama
Start date: Oct 1, 2012,
End date: Sep 30, 2014
"REBED aims at a mapping of the presence of the 'exotic' body, that is, the cultural and physical body of the non-European Other, in 19th-century English drama, with specific attention to melodramas, farces, burlesques, pantomimes and extravaganzas. REBED aims in particular to investigate what practices and devices are employed to represent the ‘exotic’ body, to what extent the cultural, political and scientific discourses of the British Empire have influenced the dramatic representation of the ‘exotic’ body, and whether 19th-century drama was a major conveyor of racial and political values. In addressing these questions, the project ultimately aims to verify whether 19th-century English drama contributed to the forging of a politically-oriented perception of the non-European Other, and, if so, how. It will thus provide a model for further investigation on other areas, centuries and/or genres that may be of use for the framing of contemporary perceptions of non-European minorities in Europe. Although the general frame for the project is that of Drama and Literary Studies, REBED will also widely refer to disciplines such as Visual Studies, Anthropology and History of Science. In previous work, the researcher focused on 20th-century drama in English both from Great Britain and its colonies, as well as on the cultural and political (but not literary) background of 19th-century England. This project will allow the researcher to extend her expertise, as well as to develop a full interdisciplinary approach. The opportunity to work in a highly international context, to profit from specialized archives and the expertise of renowned experts, as well as to be able to develop complementary skills such as the management of dissemination and outreach events, will help the researcher strengthen her position within the academic community both in the medium and in the long term."
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