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Underground Theater

Theorizing Mobility through Modern Subway Dramas

Sunny Stalter-Pace

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.

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Field Notes and Reading Notes

Studying with Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett in the 1990s

Nélia Dias

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.

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Julie Sanders

There is much current interest in walking as a social and physiological practice in disciplines from literature to geography, from anthropology to performance studies. 'Walking Studies' impact Shakespearean scholarship and in particular work relating to Shakespeare-freighted sites such as Stratford-upon-Avon, where the loaded discourses of tourism and personal encounter are predominant in the practical experience of visitors. This article asks what it might mean, either for the individual or the collective, to 'walk with Shakespeare' and whether the 'Shakespeare' that we locate in these experiences is always already a construct, fashioned to feed the demands of a national economy and the gross national product by drawing millions of visitors to an otherwise fairly nondescript Midlands market town. It explores the possibility that walking with 'Shakespeare' may mean walking with an available icon but not with the complex textual, performative, and historical Shakespeares at the heart of academic scholarship.

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Margaret Litvin

To my knowledge, this is the first essay collection in any language to be devoted to Arab appropriations of Shakespeare. Studies of international Shakespeare appropriation have mushroomed over the past fifteen to twenty years. Excitement began to build in the 1990s, as several lines of academic inquiry converged. Translation theorists found in Shakespeare’s plays a convenient (because widely known and prestigious) test case. Scholars in performance studies, having noted how sharply local context could influence a play’s staging and interpretation, saw a need to account for ‘intercultural’ performances of Shakespeare in various languages and locales. Marxist scholars became interested in the fetishisation of Shakespeare as a British cultural icon which, in turn, was used to confer cultural legitimacy on the project of capitalist empire-building. Scholars of postcolonial drama and literature explored how the periphery responded. The ‘new Europe’ provided another compelling set of examples. All this scholarship has developed quickly and with a great sense of urgency. Shakespeareans in many countries have contributed. By now there is a rich bibliography on Shakespeare appropriation in India, China, Japan, South Africa, Israel and many countries in Latin America and Eastern and Western Europe.

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Peter Merriman

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

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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

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Flying above Bloodshed

Performative Protest in the Scared City of Damascus

Ziad Adwan

opposing what the state media propagates. Therefore, flying demonstrators rebel and show the act of rebellion simultaneously. In Performance Studies , Richard Schechner (2002) associates performance with several activities and suggests that “to perform

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Vistas of Future New Mobility Studies

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

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“Something Good Distracts Us from the Bad”

Girls Cultivating Disruption

Crystal Leigh Endsley

presence, and “for the hard work of composing and writing the words, the emotional risk of self-revelation” ( Weinstein 2010: 19 ). Saint’s words accomplish what performance studies scholar Richard Schechner suggests as most powerful, the creation of “the

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Where Character Is King

Gregory Doran’s Henriad

Alice Dailey

: Palgrave, 2009), 7. 5 Yachnin and Slights, Shakespeare and Character , 7. 6 W. B. Worthen, Shakespeare Performance Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 5. Worthen borrows the word ‘correspondence’ from Hans-Thies Lehmann, Postdramatic