After Atlanta: Scandal, Print, Performance, and Nation

In February several of us at the University of Maryland blogged about Maxine Berg (and David Hume) on luxury and commodity culture in anticipation and as follow-up to the meeting of our reading group. Several others contributed as well. This time, I am posting the topic and reading in advance to encourage everyone to join us in this discussion.

Scandal, Print, Performance, and Nation

In 1777, Sheridan’s *School for Scandal* became a hit on the London stage.  As a play about print culture, *School for Scandal* stands at the crossroads of two major arguments about the emergence of nationalism at the end of the eighteenth century.  In his classic *Imagined Communities,* Benedict Anderson argues that print capitalism in this period established and disseminated a new sense of national identity.  Challenging this perspective, Joseph Roach has argued for looking to performance as a more capacious medium that allows for an understanding of a wider variety of nationalisms.  The plot of *Scandal* hinges on both inherited Englishness and imperial spoils; on scandal sheets and scandalous performances. Please join us for a discussion of this play and these two major critical paradigms on Monday, April 9, 3:30-5:30, SQH 3109, University of Maryland.

Critical Readings:

1. Joseph Roach’s *Cities of the Dead* (1996): p. 1-31 (intro), Ch 3, and Ch 4
2. Benedict Anderson’s *Imagined Communities* (1991): p. 1-46 (the intro + chs 1-2)

We look forward to your thoughts on this topic. 

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