As affect studies has become increasingly central to performance studies and many other fields, a question has emerged: How can one historicize affect? This essay forges one answer through analysis of The Method Gun, a 2008 avant-garde theatrical piece created by the Austin-based company the Rude Mechs. The Method Gun simultaneously archives actors’ historically specific feelings of shame, and reveals shame as a motor that powers much contemporary theatre. The Method Gun singles out method-based realism as a site of special intensity in the production of shame. Because method-based realism is historically and geographically located and because shame is increasingly central to affect studies (and especially queer affect studies), method acting presents an extraordinary opportunity to historicize affect. Modern theatre history, then, is vital to the transdisciplinary project of thinking historically about affect.


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pp. 213-230
Launched on MUSE
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