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Medieval Studies | “Witnessing and the Theatrical Temporality of York’s ‘Last Judgment'”

March 3 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

“Witnessing and the Theatrical Temporality of York’s ‘Last Judgment'”

Professor Emma Lipton (English, University of Missouri).

Time: 5:00–6:30pm CT

Workshop: 2:00 pm. Please contact Professor Lisa Cooper to participate (lhcooper@wisc.edu).

This talk argues that the York play’s depiction of the asynchrony of the act of legal witnessing—which always occurs in the present but speaks to past experience—provides a means of theorizing the complex temporality of the performance of the York Plays. In contrast to modern theater, individual Biblical episodes were performed repeatedly throughout the day on wagons at stations along a route that round through the streets of medieval York, so that a variety of episodes were performed at the same time. The “Last Judgment” draws on a theological model of time in which past and present interact to comment both on witnessing and on its own medium. The play’s disjunctions of temporality invite us to consider the ways that interactions between law and theatricality can potentially promote social change.


March 3
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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