Early Drama, Art, and Music Project

A Description of the Project

The Early Drama, Art, and Music (EDAM) project was established by the Medieval Institute in 1976 to coordinate and sponsor research in early drama and to encourage interdisciplinary study that is directly or indirectly relevant to the theater. While a principal focus was retained on iconography (but not exclusively) as it relates to drama and the theater, attention was also given to other aspects of dramatic production and to music. This international project was identified, along with the Records of Early English Drama which is housed at the University of Toronto, as one of the two major scholarly efforts with a focus on medieval drama in North America. In the various publications issued under EDAM, more than two hundred contributors of books, articles, and reviews from eighteen countries on four continents were involved. With the retirement of the editor in 2003, the project has been terminated, but publication in the Monograph Series will be continued under the aegis of Medieval Institute Publications, which has acted as publisher for the EDAM series since 1978. Proposals for volumes in this series are invited, and should be directed to the Managing Editor of MIP.

The EDAM Monograph Series is designed to make available scholarly studies that advance our knowledge of the various fields to which the project was committed. Prior to 2003 thirty volumes were issued in this series, with the thirtieth being Improvisation in the Arts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, edited by the distinguished musicologist Timothy J. McGee. Other volumes focus on important aspects of iconography, staging, and music (including music aesthetics and musical iconography). Some volumes are by individual authors, such as J. W. Robinson’s Studies in Fifteenth-Century Stagecraft and Elizabeth Baldwin’s Playing the Piper: Music in Pre-1642 Chester, while others, like Improvisation in the Arts or Material Culture and Medieval Drama, are collections of essays on a particular subject. Some editions of texts are also included—e.g., A Tretise of Miraclis Pleyinge and a new edition of the extant pageants from the Coventry Corpus Christi cycle. Future volumes in the series are expected to provide further valuable perspectives on medieval and early modern drama and its context.

The EDAM Reference Series includes subject lists that index provincial art (e.g., Barbara Palmer’s Early Art of the West Riding of Yorkshire and, most recently, Ann Eljenholm Nichols’s The Early Art of Norfolk, which was fifteen years in the making) and other reference works relevant to the study of the iconography of drama and the theater. For example, Pamela Sheingorn’s The Easter Sepulchre in England publishes all the available records of Easter sepulchres and provides texts when available, but it also includes an introduction that is a wide-ranging study of the liturgical Easter drama. These volumes are also potentially of wide interest to art historians, musicologists, and others.

For twenty-two years EDAM sponsored a serial publication, called at first the EDAM Newsletter and later The Early Drama, Art, and Music Review. This publication contained a treasure-trove of valuable information, ranging from comment on “Set Pieces and Special Effects in the Liturgical Drama” by Dunbar H. Ogden to Hans-Jürgen Diller’s article on “The Four Daughters of God in Early English Drama” and Susan Verdi Webster’s “The Descent from the Cross in Sixteenth-Century New Spain.” A generous selection from these articles will be reprinted in a volume entitled The Tradition of Medieval Drama to be issued by AMS Press of New York early in 2004. Many of the individual numbers of The Early Drama, Art, and Music Review and some from the earlier Newsletter remain in print; inquiries should be made to Medieval Institute Publications (269-387-8755).

The EDAM project has enjoyed close relations with the journal Comparative Drama, which has consistently published articles on medieval and early modern drama, particularly from a comparative or interdisciplinary standpoint. Authors are encouraged to submit articles to the Editor, Eve Salisbury, English Department, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008. Also, in lieu of the sessions organized at the International Congress on Medieval Studies by EDAM, Comparative Drama now sponsors two sessions each year.

Proposals and submissions for the Monograph Series should be sent to:

Dr. Patricia Hollahan, Managing Editor
Medieval Institute Publications
Western Michigan University
1903 W. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Phone: 269-387-8754
Fax: 269-387-8750