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Grant number like: FT-265034-19

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Sarah Frances Williams
University of South Carolina, Columbia (Columbia, SC 29208-0001)
Music, Memory, and Alternative Performance Spaces in Seventeenth Century England

Research and writing leading to publication of a book about memory, music, and theatrical performance in seventeenth-century England.

My monograph examines the extant music and descriptions of musical performance contained in forgotten entertainments including rare shows, peep shows, puppet theater or "motion shows," and communal ballad singing in seventeenth century England. Using the early modern ars memoriae, or memory arts, as a framing device, I investigate how music can increase our understanding of alternative performance spaces and their resonances within sanctioned theatrical and musical traditions. The early modern theater functioned as a powerful mnemonic scheme, a real and imagined architectural space, a mirror of the world, a didactic tool, a repository of knowledge, and a communal performative experience. Yet, the spaces I investigate are not necessarily limited to physical venues. Rather, I explore how we can view musical performance as a powerful tool that can uncover marginalized identities, unsanctioned or transient theaters, social classes, political intrigue, and forgotten genres.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
British Literature; Music History and Criticism; Theater History and Criticism

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2019 – 7/31/2019