Bone Theatre Media Hand: Circulating Currency and Neoanimisms in the Long Arm of the Roman Empire

April 04, 2016

Rebecca Schneider

Monday, April 4, 7:00PM, Room 7000, SFU Harbour Centre

Co-sponsored by SFU’s Institute for Performance Studies, Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, and Department of English

In this lecture, Rebecca Schneider describes an encounter with a small bone disk from the 1st century CE. On the face of the disk is the unmistakable visage of a mask and the head of the Roman actor who wears it. It may have been a coin. It may have been a game piece. It may have been a theatre token. The encounter enables Schneider to think about the travels of this bit of detritus across the empire and its colonies, where it washes up in her palm in a basement in Rhode Island in 2014.  What, she asks, do hands have to do with it? What part of circulation is "live" and what are the implications of thinking cross-disciplinarily about the current in terms of temporality, the oceanic, geopolitics, performance studies analyses, and economic exchange? Telling the story of this bit of bone, Schneider encounters other bits of detritus: some Walter Benjamin, some Ralph Lemon, and even, perhaps, some Paleolithic gestures suspended mid-wave.

Rebecca Schneider, Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, Brown University.

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