Dr Toby Wikström (Iceland) - 'Before Sentimental Empire: Slavery, Genre and Emotion on the Seventeenth-Century French Stage - Joint CEMS and CMLR Research Seminar

Dr Toby Wikström (Iceland) - 'Before Sentimental Empire: Slavery, Genre and Emotion on the Seventeenth-Century French Stage - Joint CEMS and CMLR Research Seminar
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The University of Aberdeen welcomes Dr Toby Wikström (University of Iceland) for this seminar: 'Before Sentimental Empire: Slavery, Genre and Emotion on the Seventeenth-Century French Stage' with

This talk seeks to historicize the eighteenth-century sentimental literature of slavery by examining theatrical performances of cross-cultural servitude from an earlier, markedly different historical context, that of seventeenth-century France. In contrast to the sentimental period, transatlantic empire was still more aspiration than reality for France in the 1600s, slavery more a Mediterranean than an Atlantic phenomenon, and racial discourse still in gestation. I will demonstrate that the ways in which French seventeenth-century playwrights modeled their audience´s emotional response to cross-cultural slavery evolved over time, moving from the possibility of audience identification with enslaved characters to a foreclosure of that possibility.

Dr. Toby Wikström holds a dual appointment at the Graduate School and Centre for Research in the Humanities at the University of Iceland. His research on early modern French literature and globalization has appeared in L‘Esprit créateur and collected works published by Classiques Garnier, Palgrave Macmillan and the MLA. Wikström is presently completing final revisions for his book manuscript Staging and Erasing the Global in Early Modern France.

Hosted by
University of Aberdeen, CMLR and CEMS

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