Stigmas of the Tamil Stage: An Ethnography of Special Drama Artists in South India (Paperback)Susan Seizer (author)
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Special Drama is looked down upon by the middle- and upper-classes as too popular, too vulgar, and too "mixed." The artists are stigmatized: people insult them in public and landlords refuse to rent to them. Stigma falls most heavily, however, on actresses, who are marked as "public women" by their participation in Special Drama. As Susan Seizer's sensitive study shows, one of the primary ways the performers deal with such stigma is through humor and linguistic play. Their comedic performances in particular directly address questions of class, culture, and gender deviations-the very issues that so stigmatize them. Seizer draws on extensive interviews with performers, sponsors, audience members, and drama agents as well as on careful readings of live Special Drama performances in considering the complexities of performers' lives both on stage and off.
Publisher: Duke University Press
Number of pages: 464
Weight: 671 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 28 mm
"Susan Seizer's moving and unique perspective on the fate of popular cultural practices in an age and society dominated by the norms and prescriptions of bourgeois modernity makes her work important and insightful not just for scholars of South Asia but for all those who are interested in the general problematic of popular culture, performance traditions, and modernity globally."-Sumathi Ramaswamy, author of The Lost Land of Lemuria: Fabulous Geographies, Catastrophic Histories