Streaming Media


Millett Hall Atrium

Start Date

2-13-2017 2:00 PM

End Date

2-13-2017 2:20 PM


Dr. Carol Mejia LaPerle is an associate professor and honors advisor for the Department of English Language and Literatures at Wright State University. Her publications include articles on Shakespeare, Jonson, Heywood, Webster, and the first original female playwright in English, Elizabeth Cary. While LaPerle’s book project focuses on early modern depictions of race, she also publishes on foreign cinematic engagements with Shakespeare. Her work has been supported by WSU’s Research Council, College of Liberal Arts Research Grant, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the National Humanities Center, Ohio Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

LaPerle’s presentation outlines a chapter from her monograph in progress, Racial Properties in Jacobean Drama. Ben Jonson’s The Masque of Blackness is a 17th court performance in which Queen Anne and her ladies wear blackface. LaPerle traces the ways in which blackened bodies, set beside the opulence of the masque’s materials and technologies, enhance the affective force of pageantry. As such, the performance’s allegory of King James I’s power hinges on a fiction of idealized incorporation that is ideologically powerful precisely because it is primarily an aestheticized, affective experience. Beyond the ostensible trope of racial transformation, Jonson presents pleasure as the precondition for Britannia’s absorption of migrant bodies.


Feb 13th, 2:00 PM Feb 13th, 2:20 PM

Racial Properties in Jacobean Drama: Ben Jonson’s The Masque of Blackness

Millett Hall Atrium