Bodies and their Spaces : System, Crisis and Transformation in Early Modern Theatre / Russell West-Pavlov.

West-Pavlov, Russell, 1964- [Browse]
Leiden; Boston : BRILL, 2005.
1 online resource (262 p.)


Costerus New Series ; 156. [More in this series]
Summary note
Bodies and their Spaces: System, Crisis and Transformation in Early Modern Theatre explores the emergence of the distinctively modern "gender system" at the close of the early modern period. The book investigates shifts in the gendered spaces assigned to men and women in the "public" and "private" domains and their changing modes of interconnection; in concert with these social spaces it examines the emergence of biologically based notions of sex and a novel sense of individual subjectivity. These parallel and linked transformations converged in the development of a new gender system which more efficiently enforced the requirements of patriarchy under the evolving economic conditions of merchant capitalism. These changes can be seen to be rehearsed, contested and debated in literary artefacts of the early modern period - in particular the drama. This book suggests that until the closure of the English theatres in 1642, the drama not only reflected but also exacerbated the turbulence surrounding gender configurations in transition in early modern society. The book reads a wide range of dramatic and non-dramatic texts, and interprets them with the aid of the "systems theory" developed by the German sociologist Niklas Luhmann.
Description based upon print version of record.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Source of description
Description based on print version record.
Language note
Acknowledgements -- Introduction: Staging Gendered Space -- Ch. 1: Divide and Rule: The Early Modern Gender System and Private Space -- Ch. 2: The Difference that Makes a Difference: Emergent Gender Systems -- Ch. 3: The Observer Observed: Differentiation and the Theatrical System -- Ch. 4: Posing Manliness: Work and Space as Paradigms of Early Modern Masculinity -- Ch. 5: The Aporias of Masculinity: Systemic Interpenetration and Systemic Instability -- Ch. 6: Author of Himself: Masculinity, Civility and the Closure of the Body -- Ch. 7: Leaky Vessels: Femininity, the Humoral Economy and Systemic Boundaries -- Ch. 8: Women's Worlds: Women in the Public Sphere: Space, Community, Language -- Ch. 9: Redrawing the Boundaries: Emergent Gender Spaces on the Stage -- Conclusion: The Alteration in Apparel: Cross-Dressing and the Emergent Gender System -- Bibliography -- Index.
Other title(s)
System, Crisis and Transformation in Early Modern Theatre
  • 94-012-0155-2
  • 1-4237-9090-1
  • 714567332
  • 70850406
  • 10.1163/9789401201551
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