Author-Network: City Plays, Dramatic Authorship, and Other Early Modern Assemblages
Ladd, John Robert
Orlin, Lena C
Previous approaches to networks and collaboration in early modern drama deal with either "in-text" networks of representation or "around-text" networks of print culture. My approach will be to discuss both an around-text network, authorship, and an in-text network, the representations of cities. By using Latour's actor-network theory, I will propose that the relationship between the two networks is reciprocal: early modern authorship and representations of London affected one another and developed simultaneously, together constituting a larger network that I hope to describe through close analysis of particular texts. Representations of London in the city plays will be subject to the same actor-network analysis as authorship, and four particular plays, Sir Thomas More, The Roaring Girl, Eastward Ho, and Bartholomew Fair, will guide me through a discussion of how both networks affected and are affected by one another while generating increased mobility in the areas of class, gender, and authority. By thinking about cities and their representations as intrinsically and reciprocally related to authorship, the process-centered concept of the actor-network can bring us closer to an understanding of early modern cities as authored, and of an authorship that resembles a city-network. It's my contention that this framing of both networks will be closer to our present-day experience of both cities and authors.
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