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Michael Ragussis
Georgetown University (Washington, DC 20057-0001)
Ethnic Performance and National Identity in Georgian England

Arguing that the theater exerted extraordinary power in defining, maintaining, disseminating, and finally undermining ethnic stereotypes in Georgian England, I analyze why and how the theater invented specific forms and strategies for these purposes. While analyzing the emergence of numerous ethnic, colonial, and provincial character types, I focus on the stage Scot, Jew, and Irishman--"outlandish Englishmen"-- to explore how the theater and the culture at large responded to a crisis in assimilation and acculturation when ideas of national identity were at their most fluid and unstable. In this way I locate ethnic performance, both on stage and off, at the critical moment of nation-formation in Great Britain.

Project fields:
British Literature

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2006 – 6/30/2007