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The recipient of the annual Award for Outstanding Book in Theatre Practice and Pedagogy from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, This Is My Body realigns representational practices in the early Middle Ages with current debates on the nature of representation. Michal Kobialkai's study views the medieval concept of representation as having been in flux and crossed by different modes of seeing, until it was stabilized by the constitutions of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. Kobialka argues that the concept of representation in the early Middle Ages had little to do with the tradition that considers representation in terms of Aristotle or Plato; rather, it was enshrined in the interpretation of Hoc est corpus meum [This is my body]—the words spoken by Christ to the apostles at the Last Supper—and in establishing the visibility of the body of Christ that had disappeared from view.
"An important book for the field of theatre history, and for all fields currently engaged in the study of representation in various historical periods. This is My Body is a model of historical research, informed by both a deep understanding of the mentalities of the period under discussion, and by a broad knowledge of the latest and most important work in theorizing the making of history. I expect that this book will set high standards for the field of theatre history for decades to come."
—Margaret Knapp, Arizona State University
"[Kobialka] succeeds in challenging the ways we have tried to represent the past in our studies of medieval drama and other ceremony. He is particularly good at showing the ways the body of Christ was performed and how those representations effected the construction of their subjects."
—Lawrence M. Clopper, Early Theatre, Volume 4 (2001)
Winner: Association for Theatre in Higher Education's 2000 Annual Award for Outstanding Book in Theatre Practice and Pedagogy