"Performing Affect," Volume 31 of Renaissance Drama, examines the rehearsal of emotion on the Renaissance stage. These new essays consider the ways in which Renaissance plays represent emotional states, while also presenting new scholarship specifically on the performance of "affect" on the early modern stage. The essays thus consider the continuing effects of affect in early modern culture more broadly, beyond the thrust stage, asking the question: what are the instrumental and performative effects of Renaissance drama in a larger conception of Renaissance emotions? How do we reckon the effects of early modern drama and performance within a larger history of the emotive "self"? A number of these essays significantly press at the borders of the customary terms we use to denote emotional states, states for which the best early modern terms may well be "affect" and "passions." Topics include: emotion and the humoral body; domestic abuse and trauma; the politics of onstage gesture; the relation of idolatry, desire, and necrophilia; the performance of such affective states as religious fervor, memory, jealousy, melancholy, and heroic masculinity.
Renaissance Drama, an annual and interdisciplinary publication, is devoted to drama and performance as a central feature of Renaissance culture. The essays in each volume explore traditional canons of drama, the significance of performance (broadly construed) to early modern culture, and the impact of new forms of interpretation on the study of Renaissance plays, theatre, and performance.