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Performing Economic ThoughtEnglish Drama and Mercantile Writing 1600-1642$
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Bradley Ryner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748684656

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748684656.001.0001

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Performing Economic Thought

Performing Economic Thought

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction Performing Economic Thought
Source:
Performing Economic Thought
Author(s):

Bradley D. Ryner

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748684656.003.0008

This introductory chapter presents an approach for analysing mercantile treatises and early English drama based on the work of Michel Serres and Bruno Latour. It compares this approach to new economic criticism, new historicism, and cognitive approaches to theatre. It summarises the book's argument that seventeenth-century mercantile treatises aspired to be transparent windows onto a world of objective truth, whereas plays showed totalising representations of economic activity to be self-evidently discursive constructs. Plays drew attention to the tension between framing and overflowing, between the aspects of the world internalised by particular representation of commerce and those aspects that appear as externalities. The author terms the array of techniques by which playwrights could use the stage to create and interrogate models of commercial activity in its systemic totality a ‘mercantile dramaturgy.’

Keywords:   cognitive approaches to theatre, externalities, framing, new economic criticism, overflowing, Bruno Latour, new historicism, mercantile dramaturgy, mercantile treatises, Michel Serres

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