March 15, 2016

Performing the Renaissance Body: A New Collection of Essays Edited by Sidia Fiorato and John Drakakis

Performing the Renaissance Body: Essays on Drama, Law, and Representation (Sidia Fiorato and John Drakakis, eds.; De Gruyter, 2016) (Law & Literature, 11) is available this month. Here is a description of the contents of the book from the publisher's website.
In the Renaissance period the body emerges as the repository of social and cultural forces and a privileged metaphor for political practices and legal codification. Due to its ambivalent expressive force, it represents the seat and the means for the performance of normative identity and at the same time of alterity. The essays of the collection address the manifold articulations of this topic, demonstrating how the inscription of the body within the discursive spheres of gender identity, sexuality, law, and politics align its materiality with discourses whose effects are themselves material. The aesthetic and performative dimension of law inform the debates on the juridical constitution of authority, as well as its reflection on the formation and the moulding of individual subjectivity. Moreover, the inherently theatrical elements of the law find an analogy in the popular theatre, where juridical practices are represented, challenged, occasionally subverted or created. The works analyzed in the volume, in their ample spectre of topics and contexts aim at demonstrating how in the Renaissance period the body was the privileged focus of the social, legal and cultural imagination.

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