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Scott Trudell

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Director of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Professor, English
Affiliate Faculty, School of Music

301-405-3825

3228 Tawes Hall
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Research Expertise

Medieval and Renaissance
Musicology & Ethnomusicology
Poetics
Textual and Digital Studies

Scott Trudell specializes in early modern poetry, drama and music, as well as media studies and performance theory. Click here for more on his research and teaching.

Publications

"An organ for the seraglio: Thomas Dallam's artificial life"

In the late 1590s, Elizabeth I and the Levant Company hoped to advance their diplomatic and mercantile agendas in the Mediterranean with the gift of a splendid mechanical organ to the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed III.

English

Lead: Scott Trudell
Dates:
Thomas Dallam, who was charged with installing this fully automated instrument in the Ottoman court, wrote a lively narrative of his journey, including his personal encounter with the Sultan. This essay argues that Dallam is more complex and suggestive writer than scholars have acknowledged, producing not a plainspoken account of his journey but a suggestive sense of belonging among the humans and machines in the Ottoman seraglio. Fueled by a combination of artisan class identity, technological wonder, anxieties about cultural difference, and an expanding sense of personal vulnerability, Dallam imagines a new life at the Topkapı Palace, integrated within an exquisite system of mechanical artifice.

Unwritten Poetry: Song, Performance, and Media in Early Modern England

The book reveals the importance of performed vocal music in theories and practices of English Renaissance literature.

English

Lead: Scott Trudell
Dates:
It explores the work of composers and performers such as Thomas Campion, John Dowland, Henry Lawes, and Alice Egerton, and the writings of poets including Sidney, Shakespeare, Jonson, and Milton

Introduction to "The Intermedia Restoration,"

This special issue approaches English Restoration texts and art forms from the standpoint of their media—that is, the technological processes and communication conventions at stake in their circulation and production.

English

Lead: Scott Trudell
Dates:
In so doing, it aims to extend the interdisciplinary conversation in media studies back in time. Scholarship on “mass media” or “the media” is typically dated to the advent of newspaper, radio, and television distribution at scale. “New media” studies, meanwhile, tends to designate the narrower purview of late twentieth and early twenty-first-century digital technologies.

"The Sounds of Pageantry"

Published with the Map of Early Modern London web project.

English

Lead: Scott Trudell
Dates:
In sheer scale of sensory experience, few early modern events could compare to London’s pageants and processionals. Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century royal entries and Lord Mayor’s Shows were acoustic assaults—just about the loudest things you could hear in the seventeenth century. Instead of jet engines, sirens, and rock concerts, early moderns found themselves overwhelmed by trumpets, drums, fifes, and gunfire. These intense sounds, together with speeches, poetry, dramatic scenes, music, and the noises of teeming crowds, filled London’s soundscape and helped to define the experience of pageantry.

“Performing Women in English Books of Ayres"

The account of John Bull's meeting with the musician at St. Omer's is likely apocryphal.

English

Lead: Scott Trudell
Dates:
Yet despite its fantastical nature, the story encapsulates many aspects of Bull's reputation in England at the turn of the seventeenth century. Bull himself often helped to bolster his own reputation as a "superstitious" figure by imbuing his work with a sense of mysticism, and, when he later fell out of favor with King James, he attributed royal persecution of himself to the fact that he was an avowed Catholic. Samuel Rowley's When You See Me, You Know Me was first performed in 1604, shortly after the accession of James and the reopening of the public theaters, which had been closed for over a year following the death of Queen Elizabeth and then during an outbreak of the plague. Rowley's representation of music in When You See Me initially seems unambiguously to reinforce the play's endorsement of Protestant theology.

"Occasion"

An essay on outdoor pageantry and performance theory, in Early Modern Theatricality.

English

Lead: Scott Trudell
Dates:
Where is the early modern theatre? Productions inside buildings with consistent sets and performance environments were the exception, not the rule. Itinerant companies toured the same plays through open-air amphitheatres, indoor playhouses, royal chambers, and Inns of the Court. 1