This talk describes the interests and methodology of my current book project, which borrows insights from performance and photographic theory to study the futures opened up by death in Shakespeare’s English chronicle plays. Each chapter of the book is framed by a photograph that illustrates a discrete temporal mechanism underlying the plays’ representations of the dead. In this talk, I’ll introduce the two photos that frame my readings of Richard II and 1 Henry VI. I’ll suggest that the hermeneutic shift afforded by photography enables us to think beyond conventional assumptions about the nostalgia of historical representation to observe how dead characters function for living characters as sites of temporal conjecture, ventriloquism, and identity extension.
Alice Dailey is Associate Professor of English at Villanova University where she specializes in Late Medieval and Early Modern Literature; Hagiography, Martyrology, and Passion Drama; The Reformation and Counter-Reformation in England; and Shakespeare / Shakespeare on Film / Shakespeare in Performance.