WiSe 15/16: VS-Culture-Gender-Media II: Conflict and Crisis in Early Modern London
The seminar will look at representations of cultural conflict and social crises in early modern London. Around 1600, London was a fast-growing city, "exciting the envy of startled foreigners, and ... read more
The seminar will look at representations of cultural conflict and social crises in early modern London. Around 1600, London was a fast-growing city, "exciting the envy of startled foreigners, and spurring civic patriotism", as Roy Porter writes in London: A Social History (1994). And yet, the rapid economic, political, and social transformations brought about conflicts - among neighbours, between citizens and foreigners, as well as between the city, the suburbs and the crown. We will study a considerable variety of texts, including pamphlets, sermons, poems and plays, which deal with political rebellion, xenophobic riots, confessional tensions, the debate on cross-dressing, and anti-theatrical diatribes. Discussions will explore the ways in which these conflicts and crises challenged and/or transformed the (self-)representation of the early modern metropolis.
Texts: Students should purchase William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, ed. Peter Holland (The Arden Shakespeare, 3rd Series); and The Roaring Girl and Other City Comedies, ed. James Knowles (Oxford World's Classics). Shorter texts will be made available on Blackboard.
Assessment will be on the basis of regular attendance, active participation in classroom activities (including short presentations and response papers), and the submission of an essay (4,000 words).