A Fire in Her Mind: Medicine, Gender Identity, and Strindberg's "Miss Julie"

I am a director and theatre maker, currently working on an adaptation of August Strindberg’s 1888 play, "Miss Julie." Part of the process of preparing to write this new adaption of the play involves delving into the cultural attitudes of late nineteenth century Europe to understand how Strindberg viewed the the subjects of this work: desire, sexuality, gender roles and the science of his time.

To get at these tantalizing questions, we will spend several weeks this summer digging into Strindberg’s troubling masterpiece of the Naturalist genre, first from a literary standpoint, then from a performative standpoint, and examining the play’s potential as proto-text for other work. We will also work closely with Dr. Monique Bourque, science and medicine historian, to identify selected texts which may have informed Strindberg’s understanding of human nature, the natural, sexuality, and psychology. Student collaborators will then be invited to re-imagine Strindberg’s text in a variety of ways: text/analysis projects, playwriting, performance and/or devised works, or a mix. Group or solo projects are possible; the scope and range will be negotiated within the group.
Willamette University

Liberal Arts Research Collaborative

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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