Sometimes you finish a thing in a global pandemic and wonder if, given the dire state of the world, anyone has read it or found it useful. Most of us are barely keeping our heads above water. In November my pandemic-spawned book, Music, Dance, and Drama in Early Modern English Schools (CUP, 2020) received an Honorable Mention for the Diana McVeagh Prize from the North American British Music Studies Association. Here’s an excerpt from their citation.
This is the first scholarly study on the topic, and [it] fills an important gap in our knowledge of the role that the performing arts played in the education of the upper classes in early modern English (and Scottish) society, and in this respect will add important context to the existing body of research on non-professional music-making in the period, as well as enriching our understanding of the pedagogical activities of professional musicians, and how these were interwoven with their better-known roles in the church and at court.
A superb monograph: this is really fine scholarship based on a remarkable synthesis of manuscript sources, assembled and interpreted by a nimble and brilliant critical intelligence. A delight to read, a book that surely deserves accolades. The theoretical edge to the writing – theories of agency and gesture – is very welcome.
I’m thrilled that NABMSA, which has been so important to me on a personal and professional level, acknowledged my research in this way. Kudos also to Linda Austern, my friend, collaborator, and colleague, who won the big prize for her exemplary study, Both From the Ears & Mind: Thinking About Music in Early Modern England. It was a banner year for early modern studies!
I’m also pleased to share this review of Music, Dance, and Drama by Sarah Williams in the most recent issue of the Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music. Here’s a short excerpt:
Those familiar with Eubanks Winkler’s scholarly work will recognize familiar themes. Woven into the current study is expertise developed in her previous work on gender, Purcell, the fluid boundaries between public and private, musical theater, performance, and memory. It is also delightful to experience the way she enriches theories of schoolroom performance with references to Britten’s Turn of the Screw, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a BBC interview with the outrageous Dame Edna, and the 2018 Dido and Aeneas at the Salle Favart. This is the mark of not just an attentive scholar but also a musical theater devotee, a true fan.
Finally, I have a few things scheduled so far for 2022. I’m giving a talk for the IHR Women’s Seminar Series via Zoom. If you’re interested in hearing more about my research on early modern English schools, you can register here. Although my book draws heavily on performance studies methodologies, this talk is geared towards historians, so I’m focusing mostly on historical data and archival finds.
I’m also participating in a roundtable on early modern editing practices in April. I’ll discuss my experience as a General Editor of the Collected Works of John Eccles and as an editor of Restoration theatre music more generally. An esteemed group of editors are my fellow panelists. At present, it’s slated to be an in-person event.