The new field of theatre studies changed rapidly in the post-World War II, post-Sputnik expansion of higher education, driven by the expressive urgencies of the baby boom and the ferment of the revolutionary 1960s. Internationally focused, communicatively multilingual, and culturally provocative, theatre lent itself particularly well to the agendas of many constituencies, some of them violently opposed, in the arts and politics.
The remarkable career of one theatre scholar has mapped the issues, ideas, and methods of this emerging discipline during the most fertile period of its formation. Marvin Carlson’s distinguished record of scholarship includes fifteen books and more than a hundred articles on the Western European and Arabic-speaking stages; he has also been a prolific translator, editor, and reviewer and has taught and inspired generations of students, many of whom have become major scholars in their own right. Changing the Subject collects newly commissioned essays by eminent scholars to create a casebook on the changes in the field over the past fifty years.
The elegant construction of this innovative collection allows readers to trace the evolution of major paradigms in theatre studies (including the drive to document historic performances, the rise of radical theatres and theatre artists, the application of theory to the field, and the birth of performance studies) while they simultaneously follow Marvin Carlson’s development as a scholar, teacher, and mentor.