A Cultural History of Pantomime, 1837-1901
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Has principal investigator Katherine Newey
continues A Cultural History of Pantomime, 1837-1901
Status Closed
Identifier AH/G010552/2
abstract Pantomime was one of the most popular, enduring and influential theatrical forms in Victorian England. It is a given of our national cultural life and has been part of the experience of virtually every generation of English people since the Industrial Revolution. However, it remains almost entirely unanalysed and unstudied in a scholarly context. There is no scholarly survey study of the form, nor of its impact on Victorian Britain. Such literature as exists is largely antiquarian and anecdotal (e.g. A. E. Wilson, The Story of Pantomime and Pantomime Pageant). Scholarly neglect is almost certainly due to the widely held misapprehension that the pantomime is essentially lightweight and frivolous. The study of pantomime, however, raises a series of substantial and significant research questions, which this project aims to investigate.\n\nOur main objective is to examine the extent to which pantomime reflected contemporary political issues, and contributed towards the development of a distinctive national culture in Britain in the Victorian period. We are interested to examine the effects of theatrical censorship on pantomime, and trace the extent of pantomime's subversive take on contemporary and topical events, notwithstanding the control of the Lord Chamberlain and the Examiner of Plays throughout the period.\n\nWe are interested in examining the ways in which pantomime both reinforced and subverted Victorian attitudes towards gender relations, and changing attitudes towards, masculinity, femininity and gender relations, involving such pantomime institutions as the male dame, and the female principal boy. We will also look at how pantomime was figured in the experience of the Victorian child, both as spectator and performer.\n\nWe will study the place of pantomime in Victorian visual culture, and histories of Victorian music and dance, to examine the roles of the 'sister arts' in pantomime, and consider the pantomimic stage as a meeting place for all the arts as a sort of Gesamtkunstwerk of popular culture.\n\nOur answers to these questions will be developed and disseminated through several media: we will produce two single-author monographs, and an edited collection of essays. We will hold three symposia, sharing our research with a wide range of expert participants, and asking them for critique and commentary. Our participants and audiences for these dissemination activities will be drawn from the areas of theatre history research, music, dance, and the visual arts, cultural history, and Victorian Studies.\n\n
Type Project
Label A Cultural History of Pantomime, 1837-1901
homepage http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk:80/projects?ref=AH%2FG010552%2F2
Title A Cultural History of Pantomime, 1837-1901

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A Cultural History of Pantomime, 1837-1901 By
University of Exeter Of
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