In the last decades of the twentieth century, North American drama has powerfully enacted the problematic tions of cultural memory and identity, as the essays assembled in this critical anthology demonstrate. Echoing Derrida's n-essentialist interpretation of the term signature, this collection provides an invative focus on North American theatre and drama as a site of latent cultural memories. In this volume, the concept of cultural memory offers a privileged vantage point from which to redefine issues of diasporic identities, exilic predicaments, and multi-ethnic subject positions at the dawn of a new century. Playwrights examined here include ted Canadian and US artists such as Marie Clements, Eva Ensler, Lorraine Hansberry, Tomson Highway, Cherrie Moraga, Djanet Sears, Guillermo Verdecchia, August Wilson, and Chay Yew, to cite but a few. In the process of remembering, North American dramatists develop new aesthetic modes in which the signatures of the past merge with the present and foreshadow an imagined future.
The Editors: Marc Maufort is a Professor of English, American and postcolonial literature at the University of Brussels. He is the author of two monographs: Songs of American Experience. The Vision of O'Neill and Melville (1990), and Transgressive Itineraries. Postcolonial Hybridizations of Dramatic Realism (2003). He has edited or co-edited a number of critical anthologies, including Performing Aotearoa. New Zealand Theatre and Drama in an Age of Transition (2007). Caroline De Wagter is a Research Fellow with the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research at the University of Brussels. She holds an M.A. in Drama from Stanford University. Her current doctoral research concentrates on the negotiation of imagined identities in contemporary Canadian and American drama. She has published several articles in anthologies and journals such as Reading Without Maps?, The Making of Canada: A European Perspective, BELL, and Interlitteraria.