The English Renaissance Stage:Geometry, Poetics, and the Practical Spatial Arts 1580-1630: Geometry, Poetics, and the Practical Spatial Arts 1580-1630

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OUP Oxford, 2006 M02 23 - 344 pages
Drawing on entirely new evidence, The English Renaissance Stage: Geometry, Poetics, and the Practical Spatial Arts 1580-1630 examines the history of English dramatic form and its relationship to the mathematics, technology, and early scientific thought during the Renaissance period. The book demonstrates how practical modes of thinking that were typical of the sixteenth century resulted in new genres of plays and a new vocabulary for problems of poetic representation. Inthe epistemological moment the book recovers, we find new ideas about form and language that would become central to Renaissance literary discourse; in this same moment, too, we find new ways of thinking about the relationship between theory and practice that are typical of modernity, new attitudes towardsspatial representation, and a new interest in both poetics and mathematics as distinctive ways of producing knowledge about the world. By emphasizing the importance of theatrical performance, the book engages with continuing debates over the cultural function of the early modern stage and with scholarship on the status of modern authorship. When we consider playwrights in relation to the theatre rather than the printed book, they appear less as 'authors' than as figures whose social positionand epistemological presuppositions were very similar to the craftsmen, surveyors, and engineers who began to flourish during the sixteenth century and whose mathematical knowledge made them increasingly sought after by men of wealth and power.

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About the author (2006)

Henry S. Turner is Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has taught since 2000. He received his BA from Wesleyan University, an MA in Renaissance Studies and Critical Theory from the University of Sussex, an MA, MPhil and PhD from Columbia University, and a Diplome Superieur d'Etudes Francaises from the Universite de Bourgogne. From 1993-94 he taught in the Departement d'Anglais at the Universite de Nice. At Madison, his primary research and teaching areas are in Renaissance literature and culture and in twentieth-century critical theory. He is affiliated with the Center for European Studies and with the Center for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies at Madison. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Whiting Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the University of Wisconsin-Vilas Foundation, and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

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