English Theatre Culture 1660–1737, Online Symposium #2

International Relations, Influences and Inspirations in English Restoration

“And indeed we do naturally all love the Spanish, and hate the French”.
(Samuel Pepys’s diary entry, September 30, 1661)

From Molière and Calderón to Italian commedia del’arte or visions of exotic Mexican kingdoms, the theatre and drama of English Restoration is full of traces of international influences. The cultural transfer of ideas, fashions and literature significantly shaped dramatic texts written on the British Isles, with many authors borrowing themes, motives or scenes from the plays published on the Continent. Such circulation of ideas was naturally reciprocal, and English Restoration comedies or ballad-operas found their way into the repertoires of continental theatres and travelling troupes. This seminar aims to examine the many forms of cultural exchange during the times of the Restoration, focusing on the literature that has been adapted by the British authors as well as on the various traces of foreign cultures in the plays itself. The afterlives of English Restoration drama on the Continent, especially their role in the establishment of various national genres, is also of interest.

We welcome papers which address (but are not limited to) the following topics:

  • Foreign influences on/in English Restoration drama,
  • cultural transfer between England and Spain, Italy, France, and German-speaking lands,
  • reception of tendencies of continental theatre on the English stage,
  • continental response to English Restoration drama and its influence on the establishment of specific national dramas,
  • portrayal of Orient and the New World in the Restoration drama
  • reflections of continental music and dance techniques in the English music (with special emphasis on opera)
  • English theatre companies on the Continent, continental artists in England.

We welcome a variety of paper formats, from short interventions and notes, to full conference papers.

Please send your abstract (of no more than 250 words) to Klára Škrobánková (klara.skrobankova@mail.muni.cz) by March 7, 2021.

We expect that accepted papers or paper theses should be pre-circulated to seminar participants in advance. The format of the seminar will be a moderated discussion based on the pre-circulated contributions and short (up to 10 minute) presentations of their main thesis on the day.

Registered, non-presenting auditors are welcome as well, feel free to register on the same email address.


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