Lecture | Kathleen Wilson, Performing ‘The Wonder’ in Sumatra

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on September 27, 2015

Next month at The Newberry:

Kathleen Wilson, Performing The Wonder in Sumatra:
East India Company Peripheries and the History of Modernity
The Newberry Library, Chicago, 17 October 2015

Registration due by October 16

How did theatrical performance work to stage larger English encounters with alterity in far-flung colonial sites? Professor Wilson will examine that question from the point of view of colonial residents of Sumatra and Saint Helena, who used English theatrical and social performances to reflect upon their own presence and status as agents of British modernity.

One such entrepreneur, East India Company Secretary William Marsden, wrote an epilogue to a staging of The Wonder at Fort Marlborough that reflected upon the temporal and cultural politics of British imperial rule in ways that anticipated his History of Sumatra, a work that stages English and Malay culture as part of a narrative of ‘world history’ that Britain had inaugurated.

Kathleen Wilson is Past President of the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies.  Her scholarship addresses issues of identity and difference in eighteenth-century Britain and empire. In addition to numerous peer-reviewed articles, her books include The Sense of the People: Politics, Culture and Imperialism in England, 1715–1785; The Island Race: Englishness Empire and Gender in the Eighteenth Century; A New Imperial History: Culture, Identity and Modernity in Britain and the Empire 1660–1840; and Strolling Players of Empire: Theatre, Culture and Modernity in the English Provinces.  She is a series editor of Critical Perspectives on Empire for Cambridge University Press and has been awarded fellowships from the John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Huntington Library, among others.

Saturday, October 17, 2015, 1:00pm, Towner Fellows Lounge, with a reception to follow the seminar.
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs and Eighteenth-Century Seminar

Organized by Timothy Campbell, University of Chicago; Lisa A. Freeman, University of Illinois at Chicago; Richard Squibbs, DePaul University; and Helen Thompson, Northwestern University.

This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration in advance is required. Register online here. Registrations will be processed through 10:00am Friday, October 16.


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