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MemberCaro Pirri

My project Settlement Aesthetics: Theatricality, Form, Failure engages key formal continuities between settlement writing and English popular drama between 1570 and 1620 to examine how dramatists gave expression to New World accounts of failure and loss. During this period, unprecedented geographic expansion outside the theater was mirrored by an expansion of the dramatic setting. Yet dramatic interest in settlement crisis was primarily aesthetic rather than thematic, as dramatists recognized in settler accounts a corresponding crisis of representation which suggested that traditional forms of knowledge were unsuited to the demands of the present. These dramatists drew on the structure and rhetoric of settlement documents to respond to changes in the dramatic medium and question the capaciousness of their own theatrical worlds. By linking innovations in dramatic scenography to England’s New World failures, this project shows that drama played a crucial role in formalizing the uncertainty at the heart of the early modern knowledge-making enterprise. I’m also beginning a new project on early modern women, travel literature, and itinerant domesticity. An early version of this argument is forthcoming in Exemplaria. A third project on representations of indigenous labor in early modern drama and entertainments is still in process. I’m currently an Mellon ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow for 2019-2020.  

MemberMatteo Pangallo

Dr. Pangallo is a former Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University and currently assistant professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. His primary areas of interest are early modern drama and theater history, with a focus upon connections between text, performance, and reception. He also has an interest in dramatic literature generally and the social and intellectual history of the book. His research focuses upon the complex connections between plays and the playhouses from which they emerged – their performance practices, modes of authorship and textual transmission, audiences and experiences of reception, and place within their historical context. As a scholar and a teacher, he is interested especially in the edges of theatrical and literary history, both how those edges transform our understanding of the center and how they can serve as entirely new centers themselves. Dr. Pangallo’s first book, Playwriting Playgoers in Shakespeare’s Theater (2017, University of Pennsylvania Press), focuses upon theatrical audiences and amateur playwriting in early modern England. Currently he is working on two books. “Theatrical Failure in Early Modern England” explores the causes and productive results of aesthetic, commercial, and material failure in domains such as the professional stage, court masque, household entertainment, and university play. “Strange Company: Foreign Performers in Medieval and Early Modern England” surveys the history of performers who toured to England from Spain, Italy, France, Ireland, Scotland, the Ottoman Empire, and elsewhere, establishing the role that they played in the development of early English theatrical culture and situating England’s theatrical Renaissance as one part of a global and more complexly transnational, transcultural theatrical Renaissance. Dr. Pangallo has designed and taught courses in early modern literature, dramatic literature, theater history, and book history at Bates College, Mount Holyoke College, Westfield State University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Salem State University. He has been the recipient of grants from the Bibliographical Society of the United Kingdom, The Malone Society, and the Shakespeare Association of America, as well as a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship and Jacob K. Javits Fellowship. Outside of his academic pursuits, Dr. Pangallo is a director and dramaturge and has worked for Salem Theatre Company as its founding artistic director, Rebel Shakespeare Company, and the Globe Theatre in London. He is also an award-winning book-collector.