Drama, performance and touch in the medieval convent and beyond

Liv Robinson, Elisabeth Dutton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
120 Downloads (Pure)


This chapter investigates the place and impacts of touch within medieval convent plays, focusing particular attention on the sensory and cognitive experiences of the medieval performer, rather than the spectator, and utilising archival research alongside ethnographic data from contemporary performances and interviews to explore this topic. Using a range of approaches to touch – the touch of particular items of theatrical attire; the presence/absence of a monastic habit; tactile interaction with liturgical vessels; or, more conceptually, the ‘touch’ of a theatrical part – it argues that medieval convent theatre involved its participants in a rich range of tactile experiences, and suggests that attending to touch is important for our understanding of the ways in which such theatre functioned within the devotional lives of enclosed women religious.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTouching, Devotional Practice and Visionary Experience in the Late Middle Ages
EditorsDavid Carrillo-Rangel, Delfi Isabel Nieto, Pablo Acosta Garcia
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-26029-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-26028-6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Convent
  • Middle Ages
  • drama
  • performance
  • touch


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