Revenge, the Queer and the ‘(neo-) Jacobean’
Katherine M. Graham, CSGS Visiting Scholar
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
11:30 am to 1:30 pm
The Great Room
19 University Place
*Lunch will be served. Please RSVP by Monday, March 7, 5 p.m. for this event through the following link:
Katherine M. Graham is a Visiting Scholar at NYU’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality where she is currently conducting research on the intersections between revenge, the queer and the ‘Jacobean’. She is a PhD student at Birkbeck College, University of London and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, as well as a Visiting Lecturer at University of Westminster, U.K. She holds Master’s degrees in Cultural and Critical Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London and in Text and Performance Studies from King’s College, University of London and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
In late-Elizabethan and Jacobean revenge tragedy undertaking an act of revenge arguably works to ‘queer’ both gender and time. Post-1968 British re-imaginings of revenge tragedies – often referred to as ‘neo-Jacobean’ – displace this relationship between queerness and revenge, sometimes implicitly suggesting that the queer itself causes or creates revenge.
This term ‘neo-Jacobean’ is applied to playwrights whose work evokes – either through structure, motif, imagery or language – plays from the Jacobean period. These contemporary re-imaginings utilise extreme violence, foreground the theatrical, employ ‘black humour’ and are often about sex and death. The term ‘neo-Jacobean’ creates a fracture in temporality, establishing difference from the present time by privileging an association with the past – making past present. In this paper I will engage with the ‘neo-Jacobean’ work of two post-68 British writers – Howard Barker and Sarah Kane – considering how the term positions these writers and how they themselves make engagements with their Renaissance forebears. My work is creative as well as critical and part of my current project involves me writing a queer, ‘contemporary’, ‘Jacobean’ revenge tragedy – The Daughter’s Tragedy. My paper will also include a performance of the revenger’s monologue from this piece.
*Please RSVP by Monday, March 7, 5 p.m. for this event through the following link: