[UPDATE] "Rethinking Seneca's Influence on Early Modern Drama" (09/30/2011; NEMLA, Rochester NY: 03/15-18)

full name / name of organization: 
Nicola Imbracsio/ University of New Hampshire
contact email: 

For years, scholars have demonstrated the debt that Kyd, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and other playwrights owe to Seneca's work. Such foundational criticism has often pointed to Seneca's plot devices, characterization, language, and form that inspired later Renaissance dramatists. However, recent scholarship demonstrates Seneca's effect on early modern subject construction and performance conditions. This panel aims to continue and extend the current reconsideration of Seneca's influence on early modern drama by gathering papers that "rethink" Seneca's works and influence in light of feminist, queer, post-colonial, and materialist theoretical perspectives. In so doing, this panel seeks to articulate the cultural, historical, and literary implications of early modern appropriations of Seneca's plays, letters, and philosophy, thereby contributing to ongoing scholarly dialogue that re-conceptualizes the role and significance of Humanism in the early modern period.

This panel seeks papers that consider Seneca in a post-Humanist theoretical framework and that attempt to articulate what such reexaminations may teach us about the early modern period. Therefore papers may explore, but are not limited to, the following topics:

- Early modern English translations of Seneca's works and their dramatic influence

- Seneca's staging and early modern theatre practices

- The performance history of Seneca in early Modern England

- The role of gender, sexuality, disability, and race in Seneca and early modern Senecan-inspired dramas

- Senecan stoicism and the construction of identity

- Early modern drama's exploration of Senecan philosophy

- Appropriations of Classicism on the early modern stage

- Senecan politics in early modern drama

- Appropriation of Seneca in the ongoing debate over the nature and morality of theatre in the 16th an 17th centuries

Please send a 250-word abstract to nicola.imbracsio@unh.edu by September 30th, 2011.

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Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable. For more information on NeMLA and the conference, please visit: www.nemla.org