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UNDER THIS RUBRIC Shakespeare Studies presents the first in an annual series of essays on drama as practiced in various regions of the world between ca. 1500 and 1700. These pieces have been commissioned to speak to the scholarly interests of readers who may be unfamiliar with the work being done in dramatic activity outside of Renaissance England. Accordingly the editor has asked the authors of these short essays to familiarize us with the state of research, perceived problems, and the shape of future emphases in each field.

Mere synchronicity, of course, cannot in itself dictate either the shapes of problems or their solutions in ways likely to be relevant to the study of early modern English theater; the world in 1500 was vast. But in the last few years we have been continually surprised by the depth and number of instances of cultural interpenetration, and, in the end, surely we are not the worse off for knowing more about the status of dramatic practices outside of Renaissance England. The analogies that present themselves in ways that enrich our understanding of our own research projects may well be the least of the benefits accrued through the intellectual generosity of our invited authors.

This volume offers such studies of 1) the drama of the Spanish Golden Age and 2) the drama of China contemporary with England from 1500 to 1700. Spanish drama and its problems are discussed by Richard Pym, author, most recently, of "Telling Histories: Trends in Historical Criticism and Some Notes on El alcalde de Zalamea" in Journal of the Institute of Romance Studies, while Ming drama is discussed by Grant Shen, whose most recent work in this field is "Acting in the Private Theatre of the Ming Dynasty," Asian Theatre Journal 19 (2002): 64-86.
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Publication:Shakespeare Studies
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Previous Article:Foreword.
Next Article:A survey of scholarship on late Ming drama.

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