This research seminar will explore a chapter in the history of sexuality through the lens of early modern drama. We will read and discuss two Jacobean city comedies that revolve around intrigues of cross-dressing and mistaken identities, Ben Jonson’s "Epicoene, or The Silent Woman" (1609) and Middleton and Dekker’s "The Roaring Girl" (1611), and two Restoration comedies staging plots of seduction, betrayal and war between the sexes, William Wycherley’s "The Country Wife" (1675) and Aphra Behn’s feminist counterstrike against the macho culture of the Restoration rake, "The Rover" (1677). The seminar will introduce you to a key genre in English literary history and give you an overview of its formal and thematic developments, situating them in the relevant historical contexts of relations between the sexes. You will become acquainted with current research, concepts and debates in the field of early modern drama, gender studies and the history of sexuality.
Literatur, Gender Studies