Martin Stevens Award
Winner: Mendoza, Kirsten. “‘Thou maiest inforce my body but not mee’: Racializing Consent in John Marston’s The Wonder of Women.” Renaissance Drama 49, no. 1 (2021): 29–55.
The committee is pleased to award the Martin Stevens Prize for best new essay in early drama studies to Kirsten Mendoza’s “‘Thou maiest inforce my body but not mee’: Racializing Consent in John Marston’s The Wonder of Women,” published by Renaissance Drama 49, no. 1 (2021). Through an innovatively intersectional close-reading of an understudied play, Mendoza powerfully blends the fields of law and literature with race and gender. In demonstrating the co-constitution of white women’s self-possession over their own bodies and Black people’s dispossession of their own sovereignty, Mendoza conveys the potential for illuminating a much wider dramatic corpus centering race, rape, and the invention of whiteness in early modernity.
Honorable Mention: Vanhaelen, Angela. “Turnings: Motion and Emotion in the Labyrinths of Early Modern Amsterdam.” In Performing Conversion: Cities, Theatre and Early Modern Transformations, eds. José R. Jouve-Martín and Stephen Wittek, 35–61. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2021.
The committee wishes to recognize with an honorable mention Angela Vanhaelen for “Turnings: Motion and Emotion in the Labyrinths of Early Modern Amsterdam,” published in Performing Conversion: Cities, Theatre and Early Modern Transformations, edited by José R. Jouve-Martín and Stephen Wittek (Edinburgh University Press, 2021). Taking readers on a tour of the interconnected visual-, theatre-, and sound-scapes of early modern Amsterdam, Vanhaelen conjures delight in the interdisciplinarity. Attending to the city’s five doolhof inns—which operated like multimedia exhibition spaces, featuring labyrinths, fountains, gardens, and automata—these “wandering courtyards” expand our sense of the early modern entertainment marketplace and its affective priorities.
Committee: Penelope Geng, Noémie Ndiaye, and Elizabeth E. Tavares (chair). Awards announcement and presentation took place during the MRDS business meeting in May, held online by way of Zoom due to the COVID19 global pandemic.