New Book | The Dramaturgy of the Spectator

Posted in books by Editor on October 4, 2019

From the University of Toronto Press:

Tatiana Korneeva, The Dramaturgy of the Spectator: Italian Theatre and the Public Sphere, 1600–1800 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019), 274 pages, ISBN 978-1487505356, $80.

The Dramaturgy of the Spectator explores how Italian theatre consciously adjusted to the emergence of a new kind of spectator who became central to society, politics, and culture in the mid-seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The author argues that while a focus on spectatorship in isolation has value, if we are to understand the broader stakes of the relationship between the power structures and the public sphere as it was then emerging, we must trace step-by-step how spectatorship as a practice was rooted in the social and cultural politics of Italy at the time. By delineating the evolution of the Italian theatre public, as well as the dramatic innovations and communicative techniques developed in an attempt to manipulate the relationship between spectator and performance, this book pioneers a shift in our understanding of audience as both theoretical concept and historical phenomenon.

Tatiana Korneeva is an assistant professor in Comparative Literature at the Freie Universität, Berlin.



1  How Theatre Invents the Public Sphere
2  The Privileged Visibility of the Viewer
3  The Politics of Spectatorship
4  Public Emotions and Emotional Publics
5  Playwrights Fight Back
6  Liberty and the Audience


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