Skip to main content
Skip to main content

ENGL719A: Seminar in Renaissance Literature: Pageantry and Public Spectacle in Early Modern England

This course explores the pageants, processionals, royal entries, dramatic entertainments, sermons, street performances, pillories, executions, and other public spectacles of early modern English culture.

We will focus in particular on the outdoor performance of poetry in dynamic, noisy environments, especially in London, which was transformed each October into a grandiose, neoclassical celebration for the investiture of the Lord Mayor featuring performances of poetry alongside trumpets, hautboys, drums, fireworks, and teeming crowds. Readings will include texts by poets and dramatists including Thomas Dekker, George Gascoigne, Thomas Heywood, Ben Johnson, Thomas Middleton, Anthony Munday, Philip Sidney, and Isabella Whitney; and we will give due attention to the actors, vocalists, instrumentalists, balladeers, artists, architects, and “carvers” (artisan-engineers) who collaboratively produced these spectacles. We will also read performance theory, theater history, sound studies, and cultural history by such scholars as David Bergeron, Fred Moten, Tracey Hill, Joseph Roach, Tiffany Stern, and Richard Schechner. Student work will culminate in a research paper or a public-facing project that might feature a scholarly presentation or creative work in performance.


Dr. Scott Trudell
TH 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Schedule of Classes
Check times and seat availability