Danny O’Quinn (Univ. of Guelph) will give a talk entitled “Shylocks: Anti-Semitism, Pugilism and the Repertoire of Theatrical Violence” on Monday, February 22 at 3:30pm in the Lindsay Young Auditorium, Hodges at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This talk is part of The UT Humanities Center Fourth Annual Distinguished Lecture Series.
O’Quinn tracks the career of the great eighteenth-century Jewish fighter Daniel Mendoza, the “Star of Jerusalem,” and his triumphs over the conspicuously English boxer Richard Humphries both before and after the French Revolution. The lecture explores the degree to which Mendoza’s acts were both conditioned by and aimed at ethnic stereotypes found on the Georgian stage. In startling ways, Mendoza was locked in endless rounds with Shakespeare’s Shylock himself.
Daniel O’Quinn is the author of Entertaining Crisis in the Atlantic Imperium (Johns Hopkins, 2011) and Staging Governance: Theatrical Imperialism in London, 1770-1800 (Johns Hopkins, 2005). Both are richly researched works of performance history that show how theatrical performance, in conjunction with newspapers, articulated the scripts of British liberty, masculinity, sociability, and sovereignty in a global colonial age. He is currently at work on a third installment in this inquiry, After Peace, which turns to the interactions between Britain and the Ottoman empire. This new study, enriched by his editorial work on The Travels of Mirza Abu Taleb Khan, Lady Elizabeth Craven’s A Journey through the Crimea to Constantinople, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s The Turkish Embassy Letters, will be of great interest to scholars in English, Theatre, Religious Studies, Islamic Studies, and History.