The essays in this volume investigate English, Italian, Spanish, German, Czech, and Bengali early modern theater, placing Shakespeare and his contemporaries in the theatrical contexts of western and central Europe, as well as the Indian sub-continent. Contributors explore the mobility of theatrical units, genres, performance practices, visual images, and dramatic texts across geo-linguistic borders in early modern Europe. Combining ‘distant’ and ‘close’ reading, a systemic and structural approach identifies common theatrical units, or ‘theatergrams’ as departure points for specifying the particular translations of theatrical cultures across national boundaries. The essays engage both ‘dramatic’ approaches (e.g., genre, plot, action, and the dramatic text) and ‘theatrical’ perspectives (e.g., costume, the body and gender of the actor). Following recent work in ‘mobility studies,’ mobility is examined from both material and symbolic angles, revealing both ample transnational movement and periodic resistance to border-crossing. Four final essays attend to the practical and theoretical dimensions of theatrical translation and adaptation, and contribute to the book’s overall inquiry into the ways in which values, properties, and identities are lost, transformed, or gained in movement across geo-linguistic borders.
Transnational Mobilities in Early Modern Theater