This article begins from the premise that modern American drama provides a useful and understudied archive of representations of mobility. It focuses on plays set on the New York City subway, using the performance studies concept of “restored behavior” to understand the way that these plays repeat and heighten the experience of subway riding. Through their repetitions, they make visible the psychological consequences of ridership under the historical and cultural constraints of the interwar period. Elmer Rice's 1929 play The Subway is read as a particularly rich exploration of the consequences of female passenger's presumed passivity and sexualization in this era. The Subway and plays like it enable scholars of mobility to better understand the ways that theatrical texts intervene in cultural conversations about urban transportation.
Theorizing Mobility through Modern Subway Dramas
Studying with Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett in the 1990s
In this article, I reflect on the experience of attending Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s class Performance Studies Issues and Methods at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in the 1990s. Recalling the classes and field trips to events and sites in New York City, and the emphasis that she placed on reading texts and taking field notes, I consider the lessons I learned for performance studies, anthropology, and museums, and also for teaching, research, and scholarship in general. Why did this practice of taking notes from the field, from books in particular, and the note-taking practice in general, play such a central role in Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s teaching? The steady and consistent focus both on theory and on the observation of social practices was a means of opening up new spaces for theoretical analysis or for a “performed theory,” to use Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s term.
scholars and practitioners working across the arts and humanities, whether in history, cultural and historical geography, literary and cultural studies, performance studies, archaeology, philosophy, film studies, or art and design. 2 Since its launch
Peter Merriman, Georgine Clarsen, and Gijs Mom
boundaries separating mobility studies, transport studies, mobility history, transport history, and media studies. We must also engage with approaches, methods, and debates from disciplines such as dance, performance studies, film theory, contemporary
Transfers and Transformations
Georgine Clarsen, Peter Merriman, and Mimi Sheller
communication and media studies. It is gaining increasing purchase in pockets of disciplines such as literary studies, performance studies, and archaeology. When it comes to the discipline of history, however (though with some notable exceptions, such as in
Heidi Morrison, James S. Finley, Daniel Owen Spence, Aaron Hatley, Rachael Squire, Michael Ra-shon Hall, Stéphanie Vincent-Geslin, Sibo Chen, Tawny Andersen, and Stéphanie Ponsavady
, philosophy, performance studies, and intellectual history. In terms of its argument and structure, Cervenak’s text is divided into two major parts, with the first half (chapters 1 and 2) establishing the problem of the European Enlightenment’s troubled