Women and Embodied Mythmaking in Irish Theatre

Shonagh Hill 
Cambridge University Press, 2021 | 20% Discount Until 31/05/2022

The rich legacy of women’s contributions to Irish theatre is traditionally viewed through a male-dominated literary canon and mythmaking, thus arguably silencing their work. In this timely book, Shonagh Hill proposes a feminist genealogy which brings new perspectives to women’s mythmaking across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The performances considered include the tableaux vivants performed by the Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Ireland), plays written by Alice Milligan, Maud Gonne, Lady Augusta Gregory, Eva Gore-Booth, Mary Devenport O’Neill, Mary Elizabeth Burke-Kennedy, Paula Meehan, Edna O’Brien and Marina Carr, as well as plays translated, adapted and performed by Olwen Fouéré. The theatrical work discussed resists the occlusion of women’s cultural engagement that results from confinement to idealised myths of femininity. This is realised through embodied mythmaking: a process which exposes how bodies bear the consequences of these myths, while refusing to accept the female body as passive bearer of inscription through the assertion of a creative female corporeality.

Introduction: a creative female corporeality; 1. Revolutionary bodies: mythmaking and Irish feminisms; 2. Unhomely bodies: transforming space; 3. Process and resistance: metamorphic ‘bodies that matter’; 4. Staging female death: sacrificial and dying bodies; 5. Haunted bodies and violent pasts; 6. Olwen Fouéré’s Corpus: the performer’s body and her body of work.

Available at https://www.cambridge.org/ie/academic/subjects/arts-theatre-culture/european-theatre/women-and-embodied-mythmaking-irish-theatre?

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