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Performing Disability in Medieval and Early Modern Britain

200 pages
Amsterdam University Press

Performing Disability is a landmark examination of performance history in the medieval and early modern era. Seeking to provide a fact-based assessment of disabled performance, this survey examines the nature and socialization of disabled performers in the medieval and early Tudor periods. Using Records of Early English Drama, literary representations, and targeted histories of disability in the medieval period, this study takes a new and welcome look at the evidence for, and the conceptualization of, "impairment" as a performative act in the premodern era.

It features discussions on the different societal constructions pertaining to "disability" (mental incapacity, blindness and deafness, dwarfism, gigantism, etc.), and how the evidence for such conditions was socialized through performance.

Taking an evidence-based and multidisciplinary approach to perceptions of identity and "othering" in premodern society, this study is certain to appeal to a wide audience, including historians of theatre and performance, disability advocates and theorists, and social historians.

Author Bio
Mark C. Chambers ================

Mark C. Chambers is Assistant Professor in the Department of English Studies at Durham University and co-editor of the Records of Early English Drama collection for County Durham