2021 Johnston Award for Best Conference Paper

Alexandra Johnston Award
Award Year: 

Winner: Smith, Emily. “'And you may have more sport’: Dekker’s Epilogues in the Theatrical Marketplace.” Medieval and Early Modern Student Association weekly seminar series, Durham University (UK), December 7, 2020.

Smith’s paper delves into an overlooked feature of Early Modern drama: the epilogue. By examining the Epilogues of Dekker, the paper casts light on how one writer — independent of particular playing companies — conceived of the Epilogue’s function. Smith builds upon the theories of Gerard Genette to argue that Epilogues are both “representational” and “para-representational” (Smith 3), and their dual nature allows them to “overtly scrutinize the relationship between writer(s) and company, promote theatrical recurrence, foreground [the production’s] physical situation, and envision their audience as unified” (3). Smith thus illustrates the Epilogue’s potential for highlighting the representative, physical, communal, and economic exigencies of Early Modern drama.

Award Committee: Harry Cushman (chair), Kyle A. Thomas, and Frank Napolitano. Awards announcement and presentation took place during the MRDS business meeting in May, held online by way of Zoom due to the COVID19 global pandemic.