CSGS Visiting Scholar: spring 2011
Katherine M. Graham
Katherine M. Graham is currently working between Birkbeck College, University of London and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), on a project entitled ‘Revenge, the Queer and the “Jacobean”’. She is also a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Westminster where she teach courses on tragedy, sexuality and is currently designing a course which interrogates the representation of prostitution. Katherine is a founder member of Guerilla Cabaret–which offers performance opportunities to emerging female playwrights and theatre directors.
My current research project investigates the relationship between revenge and the queer within revenge tragedies of the late-Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. It also considers the refraction of that relationship within examples of post-1968 British theatre which makes engagements with the ‘Jacobean’. My work is both critical and creative, and part of my thesis involves me writing my own contemporary, queer ‘Jacobean’ revenge tragedy–tentatively titled The Daughter’s Tragedy.
My contention is that in late-Elizabethan and Jacobean revenge tragedies, revenge produces or exacerbates queer fractures in the presentation of both gender and time. Embarking on an act of revenge queers the revenger’s gender and queers their experience of time, both for the audience and for the character. However, post-1968 British ‘neo-Jacobean’ plays demonstrate a different understanding of this relationship, often suggesting that it is the queer that produces revenge. My own creative work attempts to re-create the relationship as seen in the late-Elizabethan and Jacobean material.