Patricia Badir

Professor

Research Interests

Early Modern Drama
Shakespeare
Medieval Drama
Early Modern Literature and Religion
Shakespeare in Canada
Canadian Modernism

Relevant Degree Programs

 

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Master's students
Doctoral students
Any time / year round

Early modern literature and religion; Shakespeare and his contemporaries; Shakespeare in Canada

I support public scholarship, e.g. through the Public Scholars Initiative, and am available to supervise students and Postdocs interested in collaborating with external partners as part of their research.

Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - May 2019)
Admission : figuring the early modern theatre (2018)

Drawing from theories of the theatre that interrogate the master image/metaphor of theatre-as-life, my thesis “Admission: Figuring the Early Modern Theatre” develops a poetics of admission, or a theory of early modern theatrical form that takes into account its penchant for metatheatrical device and its obsession with the incorporation of strangers. What is a stranger? What might it mean to integrate the Other into the self and into society? The theatre stages a face-to-face encounter between two ostensible strangers—the performers and the audience. At the level of the medium, then, is an interest in the ways we come to know and let others in. The early modern stage was extremely interested in this process, self-consciously experimenting with, interrogating, and evaluating the tensions and possibilities inherent in the articulation of the human via live illusion. While the influx and management of strangers were growing concerns in the burgeoning metropolis of early modern London, the theatre became a sight to organize these concerns in a way that, perhaps unconsciously, returned them to their metaphysical origins.My thesis examines several early modern characters that are strangers, or become strangers, within the communities of their respective play realities: the deposed King Richard II; the outcast Jewish money-lender, Shylock; the bastard son of Troy, Thersites; and the revenge tragedians and madmen, Hieronimo and Hamlet. These characters, I argue, double as constitutive elements of theatrical practice: the character that seems to pre-exist its live iteration; the actor who must embody a character; the audience who watches on the periphery; and the theatrical event as a whole, or the constructed world that recedes once the performance is over. The metatheatrical effect of these characters who double as strangers and theatrical practice is a stage whose illusions and performance conditions consistently render the process of becoming human— of being recognized and incorporated into new worlds—as a process of admission.

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Stage and street : the cultural history of the early modern Thames (2016)

The full abstract for this thesis is available in the body of the thesis, and will be available when the embargo expires.

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"Mark this show" : on dramatic attention in Christopher Marlowe's and William Shakespeare's tragedies (2015)

This dissertation will argue that the early modern theatre and the early modern church were both concerned with keeping the attention of their audiences, and that one of the ways that dramatic interest in Christopher Marlowe's and William Shakespeare's plays was generated was by staging acts that can be read as ambiguous, interrupted, failed or parodic confessions, prayers, and sermons. In particular, I will argue that when the characters in Marlowe’s and Shakespeare’s tragedies fail to find solace in acts that model reformed devotional practices, they eventually suffer the strange but dramatically engaging consequences of their tragic passions like despair, hatred, jealousy, fear, and rage. This dissertation, then, will bridge the turn to religion and affect studies as a means of arguing that early modern tragedy was consumed with attracting, and sustaining, the dramatic attention of the audience. While it is not possible to say, with any finality, why tragedies hook an audience's attention, it is possible to suggest how Marlowe's and Shakespeare's tragedies used the passions generated by the failure of model devotional acts as a means of capturing and sustaining the attention of the audience.

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Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2018)
Visions : the extraordinary life of Margery Kempe (2017)

My thesis project is an adaptation of The Book of Margery Kempe into the form of a play. Considered to be the first autobiography in English, The Book of Margery Kempe tells the story of Margery Kempe, a fourteenth century woman who experienced visions of God, Jesus and the Devil and who became famous in England as a religious mystic. Her visions inspired her to travel alone throughout England, Europe and the Middle East and meet with some of the most powerful religious figures of her time. She inspired controversy through weeping copiously during religious ceremonies and speaking publicly of her visions and was put on trial at York, Cawood and Leicester for heresy. Margery Kempe recorded her experiences in the form of a book with the aid of a priest, as she was illiterate. Her book is one of the few existing examples of medieval women’s writing, and provides a unique insight into the treatment of individuals who experienced visions during the medieval era. My play examines how the tradition of female mystical piety influenced Margery Kempe’s interpretation of her visions, and how her experience relates to that of individuals today who are diagnosed with conditions such as schizophrenia, temporal lobe epilepsy, postnatal psychosis and postnatal depression. In considering the latter, through the support of my supervisory committee member Dr. Todd Handy, I have read scholarly work from the fields of neuroscience and psychology. My play does not seek to diagnose Margery Kempe from the perspective of neuroscience and psychology, but rather to imagine how her experience of having visions might relate to that of individuals who are diagnosed with psychiatric and neurological conditions that are associated with hallucinations today. My play juxtaposes modern psychological perspectives on the phenomenon of hallucinations with medieval Christian beliefs regarding visions to demonstrate how cultural attitudes affect the treatment and perception of symptoms associated with madness, and how Margery Kempe coped with experiencing visions that set her apart from the rest of her community.

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The Lyric West : reading the Vancouver Poetry Society, 1916-1974 (2012)

The first Canadian society formally devoted to poetry was founded in Vancouver, British Columbia by six local hobby poets on 21 October 1916. Over the course of nearly sixty years, the Vancouver Poetry Society (VPS) matured into a formidable cultural institution, hosting numerous readings, lectures, plays, gala nights, a radio programme and several publishing enterprises. These activities were supported by an exceptional membership of influential Canadian poets: romantics Charles G.D. Roberts and Bliss Carman in the early years of the Society, and later, modernist poets Dorothy Livesay, Al Purdy, and Pat Lowther, among a wide variety of poets, artists, publishers, and playwrights. I argue that the history of the Vancouver Poetry Society is framed by a constant struggle to generate and maintain cultural authority and distinction in the contested spaces of Canadian literature. Produced by the VPS through the mediation of local and national literary publics with its internal politics and aesthetics, its authority functioned only in conjunction with the vibrant, multivocal circulation of varied and often contradictory literary discourses within its ranks. I document Society efforts to establish authority through an examination of its early history and changes in institutional frameworks into the 1930s, including the appropriation of literary celebrities in the persons of Carman and Roberts, and the adherence to the spiritual and critical language of Theosophy as an ultimate guiding authority. Secondly, I narrate the Society’s accommodation and cautious encouragement of modernism. Finally, I briefly trace the Society’s loss of cultural capital after its increasingly consistent disavowal of modernism.

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Publications

  • “Backyard” (2019)
    Premodern Ecologies in the Modern Literary Imagination.,
  • “Coastal Squeeze” (2019)
    Ovidian Transversions: Iphis and Ianthre, 1350-1650. ,
  • Fixing Affections: Nicholas and John Ferrar and the Books of Little Gidding (2019)
    English Literary Renaissance,
  • Ovidian Transversions: Iphis and Ianthe, 1350-1650 (2019)
    Edinburgh University Press,
  • ““What may this meyne?”: Scripture, Script and the York Scriveners’ “Incredulity of Thomas.” (2018)
    Modern Philology,
  • “The Design of Theatrical Wonder in Roy Mitchell’s The Chester Mysteries,” (2015)
    Theatre/Performance/Historiography: Time, Space, and Matter. ,
  • “’The whole past, the whole time’: Untimely Matter and the Playing Spaces of York.” (2014)
    Performing Environments: Site Specificity in Medieval & Early Modern English Drama,
  • 'This Little Academe, Still and Contemplative in Living Art': Shakespeare, Modernism, and the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto (2012)
    Shakespeare Quarterly,
  • 'This Little Academe, Still and Contemplative in Living Art': Shakespeare, Modernism, and the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto (2012)
  • The Maudlin Impression: English Literary Images of Mary Magdalene, 1550-1700 (2009)
  • Shakespeare and the Cultures of Performance (2008)
  • Medieval Poetics and Protestant Magdalenes (2007)
  • The New and the Noteworthy and the Making of a Civil Society (2003)
    English Studies in Canada,
  • The New and the Noteworthy and the Making of a Civil Society (2003)
  • 'In This All Other Townes, Thou Doest, and Citties Ore'shine': Textuality, Corporeality, and the Riding of Yule in York (1998)
  • Playing Space: History, the Body, and Records of Early English Drama (1997)
  • Representations of the Resurrection at Beverley Minster circa 1208: Chronicle, Play, Miracle (1997)
  • The Garrison of the Godly: Antitheatricalism and the Performance of Distinction in Early Modern Hull (1997)
  • Un-Civil Rites and Playing Sites: Some Early Modern Entertainment Records from Kingston-upon-Hull (1995)
  • Playing Solitaire: Spectatorship and Representation in Canadian Women's Monodrama (1992)
  • Searching or Shopping? 'New' Performance Destinations in Edmonton (1991)
 
 

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