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The Humanities Institute presents

The "Early Modern Materialities" series lecture

Seth Stewart Williams poster banner


How did England's political factions evolve into its first political parties across the seventeenth century? This talk shows that song and dance played an unexpectedly active role in this process, accumulating new partisan meanings as they constantly circulated between commercial theatrical venues and private households. Two phenomena intersected to facilitate the development of those partisan meanings: print culture gave dance and music notations new mobility, and emergent racial categories allowed performers of all kinds to explore party affiliations thorough the temporary embodiment of racial identities. 


This lecture is made possible by support from the Faculty in the Arts, Humanities and lettered Social Sciences (FAHSS) fund, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and HISB.

Click here to download a PDF of the poster.

  Seth Steward Williams                                       

A specialist in early modern literature and performance culture, Seth Stewart Williams is assistant professor of dance at Barnard College and affiliate faculty of the Columbia Ph.D. Program in Theater. He is currently at work on a monograph,  Virtual Motion: Dance and Mobility in Early Modern Literature. Before receiving his doctorate in English literature at Columbia, he enjoyed a performance career in dance that included work with Donald McKayle, Sean Curran, Mark Morris, and the New York Baroque Dance Company, for which staged early modern ballets from Feuillet notation.