Territory, Politics and Performance in Tudor England

deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Northumbria University

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union constitutes the most momentous separation of British-European political culture since the Protestant Reformation.  As scholarly and public interest in ideas of British political identity continues to sharpen, this conference explores themes of division and devolution in drama written at the dawn of the British Empire.  Looking to Britain’s uncertain future by learning about its past can tell us much about how literature responds to drastic political change, not least in terms of the territories (real and imagined) with which it is invested. Recent events across the Atlantic also point to the complex dis/unities of political leadership, religion, and physical spaces.   How might the histories of Tudor empire, political performance, and rebellion speak to today's political developments? 


This call for papers seeks to address questions relating to territory and politics in the embryonic years of British empire, and to explore how questions relating to political locality were being unpacked through the medium of dramatic performance.  The tumultuous reigns of the Tudors saw English dramaturgy assume a heightened political focus, and notions of local, territorial identity were brought into dialogue with perspectives on the nation’s place within an emerging imperial framework.  From Norton and Sackville’s Gorboduc to Shakespeare’shistory plays, internal ‘British’ tensions were repeatedly interrogated against the international political autonomies of England, Britain, and Europe.  During this time of unprecedented political change, models of regional authority were invoked and critiqued through the discourse of the body politic, and nuances of territorial allegiance and political performance were being explored on the increasingly popular stage.  We invite abstract proposals of 300 words (or less) on topics including, but not limited to Tudor performance and



· devolution, rebellion, and insurrection

· patronage and performance

· political personations

· propaganda and regionalised politics



· borders, boundaries, and political edges

· politics of translation

· staging devotional loyalty and/or novelty

· locations of performance



Please send proposals for papers, collective/collaborative panels, or workshop activities to paul.frazer@northumbria.ac.uk and harriet.archer@gmail.com  

(Extended) deadline for abstracts: 01 March 2017 – please include short bio / CV