Filming and Performing Renaissance History 1500-1660 is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Research Networks project. It places in juxtaposition individuals and groups already addressing or interested in exploring representations of Renaissance history across and between genres, cultures and disciplines. Concentrating on all types of filmic and performative examples, the network investigates the corpus of representations of the years between 1500 and 1660 (such as the history film, the television period drama, television history, themed museum exhibition, reenactment experience and historically-situated theatre and opera).
The central aim of the network is to bring together individuals and groups from a range of disciplinary backgrounds (including literary studies, film, television, history, theatre and drama). Conversations will be encouraged between established academic representatives, practitioners (for instance, theatre directors, filmmakers, documentary makers and television commissioning editors) and museum officers and curators. The purpose here is to arrive, through meetings and exchange, at a genuinely interdisciplinary understanding of how the historical phenomenon known as the ‘Renaissance’ is represented and of how this changes in the light of time, place and mode of expression. In particular, attention will be paid to the contextual and political influences on artists and producers, and to the fluctuating aesthetics of visual interpretation. The network will foster a new interdisciplinary methodology which, pooling multiple perspectives, will work to provide a more generous and nuanced acknowledgement of the ways in which the ‘Renaissance’ signifies across disciplines and in relation to a whole gamut of events and personalities. Accessing the Renaissance in this fashion will generate a keen awareness not only of the means whereby the early modern period is interpreted in the popular consciousness, but also of the utility of the various disciplines' approaches and methodologies.
Principal investigator: Professor Mark Thornton Burnett