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Palgrave Macmillan

Ethical Speculations in Contemporary British Theatre

ISBN 9781137297563
Publication Date February 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

This wide-ranging volume is the first to offer a comprehensive critical examination of the intersections between contemporary ethical thought and post-1989 British playwriting. After an introductory chapter that offers a vital contextualizing account of the rise of ethics within humanities discourse and establishes the internal logic of the collection's four-part structure, the subsequent chapters roam across varied theatrical and conceptual territory with discernible constellations of engagement with notions of witnessing and the 'Other', with processes of memory and the dynamics of responsibility, with precarity and Derridean undecidability, with the arguable tension between ethics and politics, and with the legacies of violence and the possibilities of intimacy. The volume's coverage of a large number of plays and playwrights, international range of contributors, theoretical rigour and original argumentation make it a key point of reference for students and researchers working in this broad field.

Mireia Aragay is Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Theatre Studies at the University of Barcelona, Spain, and Life Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, UK. Her research interests focus on contemporary British theatre, film adaptation and critical theory. She is editor of Books in Motion: Adaptation, Intertextuality, Authorship (2005) and co-editor of British Theatre of the 1990s: Interviews with Directors, Playwrights, Critics and Academics (2007).

Enric Monforte is Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Theatre Studies at the University of Barcelona, Spain. He specializes in Caryl Churchill and contemporary British theatre, film studies and critical theory, with a special focus on gender and sexuality. He is co-editor of British Theatre of the 1990s: Interviews with Directors, Playwrights, Critics and Academics (2007).

Foreword; Aleks Sierz
1. To Begin to Speculate: Theatre Studies, Ethics and Spectatorship; Mireia Aragay
2. Violence, Testimony and Ethics in Martin Crimp's The Country and The City; Clara Escoda
3. Bearing Witness and Ethical Responsibility in Harold Pinter's Ashes to Ashes; Hanna Scolnicov
4. How to Mourn: Kane, Pinter and Theatre as Monument to Loss in the 1990s; Mark Taylor-Batty
5. Two: Duologues and the Differend; Dan Rebellato
6. The Undecidable and the Event: Ethics of Unrest in Martin Crimp's Attempts on Her Life and Debbie Tucker Green's Truth and Reconciliation; Martin Middeke
7. Playing with Proximity: Precarious Ethics on Stage in the New Millennium; Clare Wallace
8. Witness or Accomplice? Unsafe Spectatorship in the Work of Anthony Neilson and Simon Stephens; Vicky Angelaki
9. Witnessing, Sexualized Spectatorship and the (De)construction of Queer Identities in Mother
Clap's Molly House, The Pride and Cock; Enric Monforte
10. From Front Page to Front Stage: War Correspondents and Media Ethics in British Theatre; Christiane Schlote
11. Kicking Tots and Revolutionary Trots: The English Stage Company Young People's Theatre Scheme 1969-70; Graham Saunders

Vicky Angelaki, University of Birmingham, UK
Mireia Aragay, University of Barcelona, Spain
Clara Escoda, University of Barcelona, Spain
Martin Middeke, University of Augsburg, Germany
Enric Monforte, University of Barcelona, Spain
Dan Rebellato, University of London, UK
Graham Saunders, University of Reading, UK
Christiane Schlote, University of Zürich, Switzerland
Hanna Scolnicov, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
Aleks Sierz, Rose Bruford College, UK
Mark Taylor-Batty, University of Leeds, UK
Clare Wallace, Charles University, Czech Republic


'This is a timely and vital contribution to the growing body of scholarship on contemporary theatre and ethics. With its wide coverage of plays and performances, and incisive analysis of key discourses on witnessing, responsibility, precarity, violence and intimacy, this is a landmark collection that brings ethics and drama into urgent correspondence.' - Chris Megson, Royal Holloway University of London
'Mireia Aragay and Enric Monforte's Ethical Speculations in Contemporary British Theatre is a welcome addition to this growing body of work which represents an 'ethical turn' in the field of theatre studies.' - Studies in Theatre and Performance
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