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Codifying the National Self

Spectators, Actors and the American Dramatic Text


Edited By Barbara Ozieblo and María Dolores Narbona-Carrión

Theater has always been the site of visionary hopes for a reformed national future and a space for propagating ideas, both cultural and political, and such a conceptualization of the histrionic art is all the more valuable in the post-9/11 era. The essays in this volume address the concept of «Americanness» and the perceptions of the «alien» – as ethnic, class or gendered minorities – as dealt with in the work of American playwrights from Anna Cora Mowatt, through Rachel Crothers or Susan Glaspell, and on to Sam Shepard, David Mamet, Nilo Cruz or Wallace Shawn. The authors of the essays come from a multi-national university background that includes the United States, the United Arab Emirates and various countries of the European Community. In recognition of the multiple components of drama, the essays for the volume were selected in order to exemplify different aspects and theories of theater studies: the playwright, the play, the audience and the actor are all examined as part of the theatrical experience that serves to formulate American national identity.


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Notes on Contributors 295


Notes on Contributors Esther Álvarez López (PhD 1989) is Associate Professor of Ameri- can Literature at the University of Oviedo, Spain, where she teaches American Theater. Her work has focused on issues of gender, ethnicity and multiculturalism. Recent publications: “The Daughters of La Ma- linche: Examining the Effects of the Myth in Cherríe Moraga’s Work” in Perspectivas Transatlánticas en la Literatura Chicana. Ensayos y creatividad (Universidad de Málaga, 2004); “Transculturation and Biculturalism: Latina Writers of the United States at/as a Crossroads” in On the Road to Baghdad, or Traveling Biculturalism: Theorizing a Bi- cultural Approach to Contemporary World Fiction (New Academia Publishing, 2005). She is co-editor of Tramas postmodernas: voces literarias para una década (1990-2000) (University of Oviedo, 2002). Natalie I. Alvarez is a PhD Candidate at the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, University of Toronto, Canada. Her thesis investigates the notion of “performance as nostalgia” and the potential of nostalgia as a critical mode of inquiry in performance discourse. Beyond her immediate thesis interests, she has published and presented a series of essays examining incursions of performance in the “real” and the anti- theatrical anxieties such instances incite. She is currently teaching at Brock University, Ontario, Canada. Jerry Dickey, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Arizona, USA, is the author of Sophie Treadwell: a Research and Production Sourcebook (1997) and co-editor of Broadway’s Bravest Woman: Select Writings of Sophie Treadwell (Southern Illinois Univer- sity Press, 2006). He has also published...

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