Unmapping London: Performance and Urbanization after the Great Fire of 1666


ACLS Fellowship Program


Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies


This project reads plays and performance records alongside court transcripts, medical treatises, conduct manuals, and parliamentary debates to ask how an attention to personal space—the space around a body that remains private as the body passes through public places—might enrich understandings of London in the years surrounding the Great Fire of 1666. Focusing on personal space, the project argues, allows for a study of the city from the perspective of those who did not or could not own private property, and thus are not represented on the maps from which most such studies begin. These less privileged residents and visitors include women, the poor, the mad, and those whose religion, race, or immigration status marked them as different.