Attila Kiss

E-mail address:
Home institution: 
University of Szeged
Academic position: associate professor
Areas of research:  the postsemiotics of the subject, early
modern and postmodern drama, theater and theatricality,
Shakespeare studies
Title of the presentation: Theatricality as the Mediality of the Subject

Most important Publications

  • Contrasting the Early Modern and the Postmodern Semiotics of Telling Stories: Why We Perform Shakespeare?s Plays Differently Today. Lewiston, Queenston, Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2011.
  • Double Anatomy in Early Modern and Postmodern Drama. Szeged: JATEPress, 2010.
  • The Anatomy of the Revenger: Violence and Dissection on the Early Modern English Stage. EARLY MODERN CULTURE ONLINE 2:(1) pp. 26-42. (2011)
  • The Visuality of the Other of the Subject in the Theaters of Anatomy.
  • The Semiography of the Fantastic Body. In: S. Coelsch-Foisner (ed.) Fantastic Body Transformations in English Literature. Heidelberg: Universitatsverlag Winter, 2006. 31- 44.
  • Character as Subject-in-Process in the Semiography of Drama and Theater. Berichte. 1-4/2003. 187-196.

Title of the presentation

Theatricality as the Mediality of the Subject


A new affinity has developed in postmodern film adaptations for the corporeal investment that recurs systematically in early modern English tragedy. This renewed anatomical interest is partly due to the corporeal turn in poststructuralist critical theory, but it also indicative of the general thematization and appropriation of the body in popular culture, commercials, media, and the material practices of everyday life.

Anatomy has been problematized in recent scholarship as one of the most intensive interfaces for the comparison of the early modern and the postmodern. In my presentation I will contend that the ongoing double (corporeal and mental) anatomy in early modern tragedy can be interpreted as a foregrounding of the body which is presented in these plays as the continuously assembled and disassembled medium of subjectivity. The performativity of this body as medium is contrasted with the performativity of the language that is employed as a medium to get to know and master the body. The two contrasted and often competing performativities are constitutive of the early modern theatricality that tests the mediality of the subject, a theatricality that has its critical and artistic reverberations in the postmodern. My demonstrations will rely on the postmodern adaptations of Shakespeare?s Titus Andronicus and Middleton?s The Revenger?s Tragedy.

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