Roya Biggie

Race, Empire, and Plantlife on the Early Modern Stage

This talk explores how early modern playwrights staged anxieties regarding foreign travel, acculturation, and racial difference through references to plantlife and horticultural practices. Through analysis of plays such as John Fletcher’s The Island Princess, alongside sixteenth and seventeenth-century travelogues and herbals, Biggie shows how the early modern stage dramatized the politics of whiteness and colonial masculinity. Biggie concludes by discussing how this research on race and empire has shaped her approach to teaching early modern literature through student-centered digital mapping projects.