Gender Politics in 20th-century British Drama -- NeMLA, March 17-20, 2016, Hartford, CT

full name / name of organization: 
Oscar Bojorquez - California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
contact email: 

The aims of this panel are to discuss and inform on the topic of gender politics of 20th-century English drama. The politics regard a total shift from the previous format of plays. Due mainly to the women's movement in society, many changes started to take place. Prior themes centering around a male-dominated world have given way to themes of men's abuse of power, sexual politics, pain, physical and psychological torture, general feminist themes, sexual desire and redemptive love just to name a few. The existence of cross-gender casting also makes its appearance in force. Two important playwrights who have made names for "women" in their work are Caryl Churchill and Sarah Kane. These women have written plays to put women's issues at the forefront of their art. Kane's themes include poetic stories of physical and psychological torture of women, sexual desire of women, pain, and redemptive love. Churchill uses her voice to illicit themes of sexual politics, women's loss of their own personal humanity at an attempt to gain power in a world dominated by male power, and abuse of power. Churchill's application of cross-gender casting also set a framework for future writers to follow. With the onset of the women's movement, women are finally being seen as characters instead of extras. With that mindset change, we continue to see very important roles for women created and implemented, putting the issues that are especially pertinent to women, out there for the world to see. Abstract submissions for this panel would be required to deal primarily with issues of gender in the works of 20th-century British dramatists and be working with a collection of texts to support the abstracts assertion. All abstracts need be between 250-300 words and also be accompanied by a 1 page CV then emailed to obojorquez@cpp.edu.