2021 CHAViC Summer Seminar

Sunday, June 13, 2021 - 2:00pm to Friday, June 18, 2021 - 2:00pm

On Stage: Spectacle in Nineteenth-Century America

The 2020 seminar has been postponed until June 13-18, 2021. Please check back for updated information.

"All the world’s a stage,” wrote William Shakespeare, and so it seemed across the cultural landscape of the nineteenth-century United States. The 2021 Center for Historic American Visual Culture (CHAViC) seminar will focus on visual and material cultures of theater and related histories of spectacle and spectatorship. Interdisciplinary in subject and scope, the seminar welcomes emerging and senior scholars across multiple fields.

Seminar participants will explore theater as a lens for understanding larger practices and ideas of performance and related subjects, including labor, technology, race, and print culture. Workshops and guest lectures will highlight the extraordinary collections at AAS, including engravings, lithographs, photographs, promptbooks, playbills, musical scores, broadsides, periodicals, and ephemera such as theater tickets and trade cards.

Topics will include the spaces, sites, and mechanics of theatrical spectacle, including playhouses, museums, panoramas, public streets, optical technologies, set design, costume design, historical reenactments, and tableau vivants.

The seminar’s leader will be Wendy Bellion, professor and Sewell C. Biggs Chair of American Art History at the University of Delaware. She is the author of the awardwinning Citizen Spectator: Art, Illusion, and Visual Perception in Early National America (2011) and Iconoclasm in New York: Revolution to Reenactment (2019).

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Closed until further notice

Mon, Tu, Th, Fri: 9:15 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wed: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

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