The Mobility of Suffering: Cosmopolitan Ethics in debbie tucker green’s Plays

Martin Riedelsheimer, Korbinian Stöckl
  • Journal of Contemporary Drama in English, January 2017, De Gruyter
  • DOI: 10.1515/jcde-2017-0009

Suffering and cosmopolitan ethics in plays by debbie tucker green

What is it about?

debbie tucker green’s theatre can be seen as a reaction to the state of heightened mobility in a globalised world in which social problems can no longer be contained locally but inevitably register globally and vice versa. Her plays that move remote suffering to the centre of attention qualify as cosmopolitan for two reasons: Not only do they address such suffering by making use of globally diverse settings, but they also express cosmopolitanism’s belief in an undeniable responsibility for the other that connects all humankind. Devices such as cross-racial casting or the use of universally familiar constellations like the family are used to lend mobility to the abstract hardships of remote others, allowing them to intrude into the familiar world of the audience’s concrete experience. Implicitly, this entails the demand to accept responsibility for and, eventually, take action against global suffering, which is the core of any cosmopolitan ethics.

Why is it important?

This essay contributes to approaches that understand literature, and theatre in particular, as a medium to address and discuss issues of political and ethical relevance in a way that makes them accessible not only intellectually but also emotionally. It attempts to place tucker green’s plays within a broader, global, or cosmopolitan, scope without disavowing the particular importance of black rights and women’s rights that has been the focus of attention of much of the existing research into tucker green’s work.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr. Korbinian Stöckl and Martin Riedelsheimer

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