Thinking Forward Through the Past: Lessons from Theatre Historiography
Richard Schoch (Queens University, Belfast)
Theatre history as an academic profession has existed only from the beginning of the 20th century. But theatre history as a scholarly practice has existed since the Restoration. Yet the deep history of theatre history is still largely ignored, mainly because its practitioners were not ‘professionals’, in our sense of the term. Redressing that imbalance, this lecture will identify some of the main contours of how — and by whom — British theater history was written in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. It will also ask whether the neglected history of our discipline can help us to imagine its future.