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About this Volume

This volume of Romantic Circles Praxis Series includes an editor's introduction by Charles Rzepka, essays by Peter G. Buckley, Jeffrey N. Cox, Jerrold E. Hogle, Robert Hoskins, Debbie Lee, and Charles Rzepka.

This Praxis volume began as two modern stagings of the 19th century play Obi; or Three-Finger'd Jack. The first staging was at the Playwright's Theater in Boston, on July 18, 2000. It included, besides staged portions of the play, papers read by Charles Rzepka, Peter Buckley, Jeffrey Cox and Debbie Lee. These papers formed the backbone of this Praxis volume. The second production was at Arizona State University, at the year 2000 Conference of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR). It included the papers mentioned above and also the essay by Robert Hoskins included in this volume. Video excerpts of the Boston production are included as well, linked to plain text versions of the Obi melodrama and Obi pantomime. A scholarly edition of the Obi pantomime is forthcoming from Romantic Circles, edited by Jeffrey N. Cox.

The text is encoded in HTML, but features no frames and a limited use of tables. It will work best with Netscape 4.0 or Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher or a comparable browser; earlier browsers may not display everything properly. Because you may enter and exit these files along multiple paths, you may need to use the back-arrow button on your browser to return to your starting point. The full text of the volume, like all hypertexts in the Romantic Circles Praxis Series, is fully searchable.

The essays and other files were marked up in HTML by Joseph Byrne at the University of Maryland. The volume cover and contents page were also designed and marked up by Joseph Byrne.

All the images used with the Obi volume derive from the Sylvester Harrison/Edward Orme engraving depicting Maria DeCamp and Charles Kemble in the Obi pantomime production of the cave scene. The Harrison/Orme engraving is used courtesy of the Harvard Theater Collection.

About the Romantic Circles Praxis Series

The Romantic Circles Praxis Series is devoted to using computer technologies for the contemporary critical investigation of the languages, cultures, histories, and theories of Romanticism. Tracking the circulation of Romanticism within these interrelated domains of knowledge, RCPS recognizes as its conceptual terrain a world where Romanticism has, on the one hand, dissolved as a period and an idea into a plurality of discourses and, on the other, retained a vigorous, recognizable hold on the intellectual and theoretical discussions of today. RCPS is committed to mapping out this terrain with the best and mo st exciting critical writing of contemporary Romanticist scholarship. The Romantic Circles Praxis Series was formerly known as Romantic Praxis: Theory and Criticism. The name was changed in November 1999.

About the Contributors

Peter Buckley is an Associate Professor of History at The Cooper Union and a Fellow the the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU. He has written widely on the development of New York's popular culture in the nineteenth century and his most recent survey of the subject is "Popular Culture and Paratheatricality" in The New Cambridge History of the American Theatre.

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Jeffrey N. Cox is Professor of English and of Comparative Literature and Humanities at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he also directs the Center for Humanities and the Arts. His work on the romantic drama includes In the Shadows of Romance: Romantic Tragic Drama in Germany, England and France (Ohio UP, 1987), the edition Seven Gothic Dramas (Ohio UP, 1992), and an anthology of romantic period drama and theater coedited with Michael Gamer and forthcoming from Broadview. His other work includes Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School: Keats, Shelley, Hunt and their Circle (Cambridge UP, 1999).

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Jerrold E. Hogle is Professor of English and University Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona. His books on Romantic and Gothic literature range from Shelley's Process (Oxford UP) to The Undergrounds of the Phantom of the Opera (St. Martin's/Palgrave). He co-organized the 2000 Conference of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR) at which selections from and papers about Obi were presented for the second time, with himself as Director/Narrator. He is also the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction and is working on a book about the Gothic-Romantic relationship in literature.

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Robert Hoskins is an Associate Professor at Massey University, New Zealand. He has published mostly in eighteenth century English music, including the volumes for Music in London Entertainment 1660-1800, The Theater Music of Samuel Arnold: A Thematic Index (1998), and over twenty volumes of edited scores. He is series editor of Massey University Music Publications, specializing in music by New Zealand composers, and general editor of the collected works of New Zealand composer Larry Pruden.

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Debbie Lee is the author of Slavery and the Romantic Imagination (U Penn Press, 2002), and co-general editor (with Peter Kitson) of Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation: Writings in the British Romantic Period (Pickering & Chatto, 1999).

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Charles Rzepka is author of two books and numerous articles on Romantic writers, including Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Austen, and De Quincey. He has also written essays on English Romantic theater and American popular culture, and is currently at work on a cultural history of detective fiction.

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Published @ RC

August 2002

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