Joseph Roach: Camera Presence - online lecture

12. May 2022 15:00 -
12. May 2022 17:00


DAMU's Department of Authorial Creativity and Pedagogy invites you to an online lecture by American historian, writer, director and Yale University professor Joseph Roach titled Camera Presence. The lecture is based on his book, It (2007), which is an insight into the phenomenon of actor charisma, attraction, and praesentiality, in relation to a historical conceptual framework. In his lecture, Prof. Roach views the original thesis through the prism of contemporary world events, in the light of which the topic under discussion takes on new and unexpected meanings.

Prof. Joseph Roach is Professor Emeritus of Theatre and English Studies and has served as Chair of the Department of Theatre at Yale University. Professor Roach is a theatre historian, director, and performance studies scholar. He is the author of The Player's Passion: Studies in the Science of Acting (1985), Cities of the Dead (1996) and It (2007). With Janelle Reinelt, he is the editor of Critical Theory and Performance (2nd edition, revised 2007) and Changing the Subject: Marvin Carlson and Theatre Studies, 1959-2009 (2009). His publications have received numerous awards. Before coming to Yale, he held the Chair of Performing Arts at Washington University in St. Louis and the Chair of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York City. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Society for Theatre and other awards.

That mysterious characteristic “It”—“the easily perceived but hard-to-define quality possessed by abnormally interesting people”—is the subject of Joseph Roach’s engrossing new book, which crisscrosses centuries and continents with a deep playfulness that entertains while it enlightens. Roach traces the origins of “It” back to the period following the Restoration, persuasively linking the sex appeal of today’s celebrity figures with the attraction of those who lived centuries before. The book includes guest appearances by King Charles II, Samuel Pepys, Flo Ziegfeld, Johnny Depp, Elinor Glyn, Clara Bow, the Second Duke of Buckingham, John Dryden, Michael Jackson, and Lady Diana, among others.

From the reviews:

It considers the effect that arises when spectacularly compelling performers and cultural fantasy converge, as in the outpouring of public grief over the death of Princess Diana. . . . An important work of cultural history, full of metaphysical wit . . . It gives us a fresh vocabulary for interpreting how after-images endure in cultural memory.” —Andrew Sofer, Boston College

Joseph Roach’s enormous erudition, sharp wit, engaging style, and gift for finding the most telling historical detail or literary quote are here delightfully applied to the intriguing subject of why certain historical and theatrical figures have possessed a special power to fascinate their public.” —Marvin Carlson, Graduate Center, City University of New York

Prof. Joseph Roach will be lecturing via the Zoom platform, and the lecture will also be streamed on the YouTube channel. Participants can join the video conference on the Zoom platform: LINK HERE. Only participants of the Zoom video conference will be able to interact in the discussion!

The lecture takes place within the framework of the doctoral seminar of the study program Authorial Acting, its Theory and Psychosomatics (KATaP DAMU) and is open to all students or teachers of study programs of artistic and art history.

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