Autumnal Faces published

Autumnal Faces is a timely study within the ever-growing research on the ways older people and ageing itself have been conceptualized and represented in the popular imagination and, more specifically, in drama and on stage. Tracing this theme from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century, this volume offers original, innovative and diachronic analyses of plays and performances that focus on or are peopled with older characters. The contributors study the roots of positive and negative stereotypes pertaining to senescence and the elderly, offering meticulous interpretations of dramatic narratives and performances on topics such as gendered ageing, geronticide, the «sins» of senex amans and iratus, ageing and uncontrolled passions versus ageing and prudence, longevity and immortality, memory and life narratives, the elderly as storytellers and repositories of wisdom in British and Irish culture, Alzheimer’s disease and the loss of self, and intergenerational conflicts. Ultimately, this collection of essays answers the ongoing call for more studies devoted to humanistic/cultural gerontology, seeing old age not just as an issue affecting past generations but one that is increasingly important as we all age into an unknown future.

Available for purchase here.

Katarzyna Bronk is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. She teaches the history of English literature but specializes in Restoration theatre and drama. She also researches and publishes on various British texts/manuals of conduct and the literary methods of socializing women of all ages and states. Currently, she is exploring the representations and dramatizations of ageing and old age, and her research on the matters of senescence, titled «Embodied sites of memory? Investigations into the definitions and representations of old age and ageing in English drama between 1660 and 1750», is supported by a grant from the Polish National Science Centre.

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