Identity, Memory, and Technoscientific Ethics: Limits, Edges, and Borders in The Forbidden Zone

  • Ellen Moll
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)


Moll applies feminist technoscience theories of Karen Barad, Katie King, and Donna Haraway to Duncan Macmillan and Katie Mitchell’s play The Forbidden Zone, revealing how it poses epistemological challenges to how the history and ethics of science are often narrated onstage. The play depicts historical figures Clara Immerwahr and her granddaughter Claire Haber, two women scientists with connections to chemical weapons research, and their respective suicides. The play uses experimental theatrical techniques, including live cinema, to explore the ethical-political ramifications of chemical weapons research and its relationship to sexism and other oppressions. In the play, this weapon development symbolizes and creates a modernity defined by apocalypse, as part of a tradition of critique which spans from Virginia Woolf and Mary Borden to Barad and Haraway.



Thank-you to Duncan Macmillan, and Rachel Taylor and Helena Clark at his representation company, for providing access to the playscript for my study of this play.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Moll
    • 1
  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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