The 19th-Century Theatre Caucus (19CTC) is a research network of scholars working on nineteenth-century theater, drama, spectacle, exhibition, and performance of all kinds. This includes not only Victorian theatrical entertainments and their embodied performance but also connections between theater and other arts, between drama and other literary forms. We cultivate work on theatricality, performativity, adaptation, the melodramatic mode, etc. in a variety of genres, examining all of this in relation to broad questions of culture.
We met officially for the first time at the Pasadena NAVSA in 2013 to address the paucity of papers and panels on theater, drama, or performance. At the Hawaii NAVSA in 2015, we expanded our mandate to include sponsoring actual performances (which are a form of research), culminating in the marvelous staged reading with piano accompaniment of John Brougham’s 1849 Jane Eyre in Phoenix, 2016. We will continue producing such events at NAVSA and elsewhere.
But our primary function remains fostering communication, forming 19th-century theater-related panels, encouraging individual paper submissions, organizing symposia, promoting publication, supporting one another’s work, sharing resources, networking, and having fun. We created the caucus to boost the inclusion of theater/drama/performance panels at nineteenth-century conferences and of nineteenth-century panels at theater conferences.