Amanda Eubanks Winkler

Cultural History | Musicology | Performance Studies

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Now Available in Paperback | Discount Code MUSI2522 for Extra Savings

Honorable Mention, Diana McVeagh Book Prize, North American British Music Studies Association

Moving from psalm singing to early opera via public oratory, classical drama, musical instruction, and even the performativity of the classroom itself, Music, Dance, and Drama is rich with fresh archival discoveries as well as new ways of thinking about gender, education, and performance in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries . . . a significant and seminal book, not only for the contribution it makes to the current scholarly picture, but for the future work that it will surely inspire.
Simon Smith, The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham. Early Theatre, 25.1 (2022): 161–4.

Music, Dance, and Drama in Early Modern English Schools combines performance studies and phenomenological approaches with a robust engagement with archival sources to explore questions around gender and class in pedagogical performance. Understanding performance as a “node through which various cultural energies flowed—spiritual, pedagogical, and recreational,” Eubanks Winkler analyzes a wide range of sources including personal letters, scores, and playbills to illuminate the social context of early modern musical education (8). In addition to being a valuable resource for scholars of theater music history, this book will appeal to a broader readership because of its attention to the agency and embodied experience of schoolchildren.
Dori Coblentz, Georgia Institute of Technology. Renaissance Quarterly, 75.3 (2022): 1089–90.

Using present-day experiences – as a participant, as a listener and viewer, and as a parent of school-age children – the author is able to nourish and inform the work as a historian, fleshing out the bones of the narrative tentatively reconstructed from textual sources. This book thus offers a skilful model of how to engage with past culture, despite the inevitable challenges posed by lacunae in available sources. The work will be of enormous value to scholars working across a wide spectrum of early modern cultural discourses, including gender identity, social hierarchy, the development of the professions, religious and confessional practices, etc.
Michael Gale, Open University UK. Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, 44.1 (2022): 122–24.

Amanda Eubanks Winkler’s study of pedagogical performance in and relating to early modern English schools is both fascinating and methodologically groundbreaking. On the first page she mentions a wholesome experience of her own, a production of Singing in the Rain she saw through the “rosy lens of parental devotion.” It stands in contrast to the sixteenth-century image displayed on the book’s cover, which features a boy getting thrashed as others sing together and attend, somewhat distractedly, to their lessons. Neither is misleading about this book’s contents. It is a testament to the wide scope of this study that Eubanks Winkler tackles both sides of the equation, paying careful attention to issues surrounding student accomplishments and pedagogical failures.
Jeremy L. Smith, University of Colorado Boulder. NABMSA Reviews, Fall 2021.

Amanda Eubanks Winkler’s engaging new monograph […] contribut[es], in strikingly original ways, not only to the histories of music, dance, and drama in England from the mid-Elizabethan era through the Stuart dynasty, but also to the history of education and to performance studies more broadly.
Linda Austern, Northwestern University. Music & Letters, 102.3 (2021): 601–3.

Eubanks Winkler makes us comfortable with historical gaps and temporal tension. She shows us that it is possible to reconceive and reevaluate some of the most familiar early modern works, and she demonstrates the richness of previously undiscovered sources. Most significantly, perhaps, Eubanks Winkler presents us with a methodology to reanimate the past through the lens of our own experiences.
Sarah Williams, University of South Carolina. Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music, 27.2 (2021).

You can listen to a recent interview about the book for the Passing Notes podcast here.

Recently Released

Performing Restoration Shakespeare embraces the performative and musical qualities of Restoration Shakespeare (1660–1714), drawing on the expertise of theatre historians, musicologists, literary critics, and – importantly – theatre and music practitioners. The volume advances methodological debates in theatre studies and musicology by advocating an alternative to performance practices aimed at reviving ‘original’ styles or conventions, adopting a dialectical process that situates past performances within their historical and aesthetic contexts, and then using that understanding to transform them into new performances for new audiences. By deploying these methodologies, the volume invites scholars from different disciplines to understand Restoration Shakespeare on its own terms, discarding inhibiting preconceptions that Restoration Shakespeare debased Shakespeare’s precursor texts. It also equips scholars and practitioners in theatre and music with new – and much needed – methods for studying and reviving past performances of any kind, not just Shakespearean ones.

Sir William Davenant

Eubanks Winkler and Schoch reveal how – and why – the first generation to stage Shakespeare after Shakespeare’s lifetime changed absolutely everything. Founder of the Duke’s Company, Sir William Davenant influenced how Shakespeare was performed in a profound and lasting way. This book provides the first performance-based account of Restoration Shakespeare, exploring the precursors to Davenant’s approach to Restoration Shakespeare, the cultural context of Restoration theatre, the theatre spaces in which the Duke’s Company performed, Davenant’s adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, acting styles, and the lasting legacy of Davenant’s approach to staging Shakespeare.

Available Open Access, Bloomsbury Collections.

Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe (2017)

My research focuses on English music of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and twentieth centuries. I was a long-term fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library (2001–2002) and served as the Co-Investigator on Performing Restoration Shakespeare, a project funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, UK (2017-2020). I have published on a broad range of topics, including the relationship among musical, spiritual, and bodily disorder; performance and pedagogy; musical depictions of the goddess Venus; the gendering of musical spirits; music and Shakespeare; and the intersection of music and politics.

I have also engaged with performance studies and practice-based research, including workshops that staged excerpts of Davenant’s Macbeth and Gildon’s Measure for Measure (Folger Theatre, Washington DC) and Middleton’s The Witch (Blackfriars Conference, Staunton, VA). As part of the Performing Restoration Shakespeare project, I served as music director for a workshop of the Restoration-era Tempest (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, London) and more recently I co-led a workshop for scholars and served as a consultant for a full professional production of Davenant’s Macbeth, staged at the Folger Theatre, Washington DC.

I am a General Editor for The Collected Works of John Eccles (A-R Editions) and have published two volumes of Restoration theatre music. My two most recent books are Music, Dance, and Drama in Early Modern English Schools (Cambridge University Press, 2020), which was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Diana McVeagh Book Prize competition by the North American British Music Studies Association, and Shakespeare in the Theatre: Sir William Davenant and the Duke’s Company, co-authored with Richard Schoch (Arden Shakespeare/Bloomsbury, 2021). Performing Restoration Shakespeare, an edited collection with Schoch and Claude Fretz that draws together perspectives from academics and practitioners, is now available from Cambridge University Press. I am currently writing a new book which situates Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals from the 70s and 80s within a social and political context.