An Introduction to Feminism and Theatre

An Introduction to Feminism and Theatre

An Introduction to Feminism and Theatre

An Introduction to Feminism and Theatre

Synopsis

At last an accessible and intelligent introduction to the energising and challenging relationship between feminism and theatre.In this clear and enlightening book, Aston discusses wide-ranging theoretical topics and provides case studies including:* Feminism and theatre history* 'M/Othering the self': French feminist theory and theatre* Black women: shaping feminist theatre* Performing gender: a materialist practice* Colonial landscapesFeminist thought is changing the way theatre is taught and practised. An Introduction to Feminism and Theatre is compulsory reading for anyone who requires a precise, insightful and up-to-date guide to this dynamic field of study.

Excerpt

In recent years feminism has proved, and is still proving, a vital and energizing challenge to the male bias of teaching and research across a wide range of academic disciplines. In the theatre academy, more commonly termed theatre studies, the impact of feminism has been felt at a much later stage than in its 'sister' disciplines, such as English studies. This is largely due to the way in which theatre studies as a discipline is itself a relatively new phenomenon: the first British university drama department opened at Bristol as late as 1947 (see Barker 1994; on earlier pioneering efforts see Thomson 1991; for American details see Case 1990:2, n.2). In general, drama departments evolved out of English departments which were (and in many instances still are) concerned with the teaching of plays as dramatic literature. The brief history of the discipline is therefore a troubled one in terms of its fight for autonomy and the recognition of its practices, which it is still in the process of defining (see Reinelt and Roach 1992:5).

Centrally, however, theatre studies set out to re-frame the study of drama as the study of theatre in its historical, theoretical, and practical contexts. Each of these three key areas has undergone conceptual and methodological shifts in the move towards a 'new' theorized field of theatre study. The importance of feminism in recent thinking about theatre history, theory, and practice is considerable. This current study sets out to demonstrate its importance through a survey of the feminist project(s) in theatre studies. The volume is offered as an accessible and practical guide to students of theatre desirous of understanding the 'stages' in feminism, and, hopefully, of making their own feminist interventions in the field.

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