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R/18 Interview with the Author Series: Mattie Burkert

The R/18 Collective continues its Interview with the Author series in a conversation with Professor Mattie Burkert about her new book Speculative Enterprise: Public Theaters and Financial Markets in London, 1688-1763 (University of Virginia Press, 2021). In this new work, Burkert provides us with an excellent study of the ways in which the discourse of the financial markets was deeply mediated by the stage to form what she has termed the "theatre-finance nexus." The book offers a knowledgeable and nuanced account of the emergence of new and risky financial instruments in the period and of how playhouses figured these instruments and functioned as critical sites of public debate about these risks and the increases in wealth and social mobility they promised. Basing her study on a number of works in the repertory that were popular in their time, but less often discussed in scholarly criticism, she is able to provide fresh insights into the influential role played by theatrical publics and the stage in transforming the ideas introduced by financial markets into central and sometimes all-consuming figures for facilitating social exchange and cultural understanding. For those in the field and beyond, this is, indeed, a "worth"-while read. You can find the interview here: R/18 Interview with Mattie Burkert



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