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Theatre and Evolution from Ibsen to Beckett - Columbia Scholarship Online
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Theatre and Evolution from Ibsen to Beckett

Kirsten Shepherd-Barr


Evolutionary theory made its stage debut as early as the 1840s, reflecting a scientific advancement that was fast changing the world. Tracing this development in dozens of mainstream European and American plays, as well as in circus, vaudeville, pantomime, and “missing link” performances, this book reveals the deep, transformative entanglement among science, art, and culture in modern times. The stage proved to be no mere handmaiden to evolutionary science, though, often resisting and altering the ideas at its core. Many dramatists cast suspicion on the arguments of evolutionary theory and rej ... More

Keywords: evolutionary theory, circus, vaudeville, pantomime, stage, theater, biological determinism, gender essentialism, maternal instinct, motherhood

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780231164702
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231164702.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, author
St Catherine's College