Incitement to Discourse: The Lord Chamberlains Censorship of Plays in Late Victorian England, 1890-1910
Matthews project will take him to the British Library in London this summer, where he will investigate the censorship of plays during the transition from Victorianism into Modernism. In particular, he will be examining the significant role the Lord Chamberlain played in maintaining English morality through his censorship powers. Taking Foucaults theories as a starting point, Matthew will test his hypothesis that the Lord Chamberlains censorship activities, which were deployed inconsistently, were less concerned with the maintenance of decency and morality than they were with who had the authority to control the expression of desire. Matthew proposes to examine both the original manuscripts of the censored plays, with the Lord Chamberlains annotated markings, as well as periodicals and newspapers from the period that will help provide a critical historical context for understanding Foucaults insight that censorship leads paradoxically to a proliferation of a discourse on sex. The resulting study will be submitted as Matthews Seniors Honors Thesis in English.
- Mentor: Professor Sharon Marcus, English