Christopher Grobe

Assistant Professor, Amherst College

5:00pm 5:00pm

Confession in the Age of Aggregation: Art, Politics, and the Self of Social Media

an honorary lecture at Amherst College

Social media platforms have made “confessional speech” both ubiquitous and, at the same time, mundane. This talk will focus first on new media artists who take the outpourings of others as the basis for their art. These artists focus on social media because they’re interested in the relationship between the individual and vast social or political structures.

That’s how they relate to the second topic in this talk: recent campus activism, which often begins as an act of protest on the ground, but reaches the world by going viral on social media. Much of this activism is itself confessional—sharing life stories, daring to be vulnerable in public—and this raises the question: how do these protests catch our attention and keep it when social media have made confession so mundane?

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3:30pm 3:30pm

Performance and Media

Part of day-long symposium on "Performance And..." for the Rutgers Department of English.  A roundtable with Carrie Preston (Boston University) and Autumn Womack (Rutgers University), to be followed by a keynote by Shannon Jackson (UC-Berkeley).

"... when the theater brings new media technologies onstage, it refines—sometimes, even invents—the feelings that will attach to them.  Since these technologies, in turn, change how we understand our own bodies and feelings, theater and media move through history together—neither knowing which has taken the lead."
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7:00pm 7:00pm

Of TV Actors and Technodollies

A talk at SUNY-Buffalo as part of a symposium on "Acting as Technology" with Jacob Gallagher-Ross (SUNY-Buffalo) and Shonni Enelow (Fordham University).

"The technologized body; ghosts of others in our innermost selves; the elaborate programs and codes behind “naturalness”—these are not only the themes of Orphan Black, they are also its essential condition as performance."
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1:00pm 1:00pm

Why It's 'Easier to Act with a Telephone than a Man'

a lecture for the Performance Studies Working Group at Yale

"As Cocteau says in his preface to La voix humaine, scenes on the phone give the actor "the chance to play two parts: one when she speaks, the other when she listens and limns the person who speaks only in silence."  That person, of course—the one who speaks in silence—is the secret sharer of the one who speaks in words.  It is the actress, after all; it is the character herself, talking to herself, forever."

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6:00pm 6:00pm

On Book: The Performance of Reading

  • Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

a lecture for the Modernism Seminar

More than wormholes to a textual elsewhere, after all, books are also things to hand. ‘The relation a reader has to a book is also a relation between two bodies,’ Karin Littau reminds us, ‘paper and ink … flesh and blood.’ Bookish performance enacts this relation over time, heeling the reader roughly to the book’s material and textual demands.
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5:00pm 5:00pm

Why It's 'Easier to Act with a Telephone than a Man'

a lecture for the American Literature Colloquium

With the telephone’s help, actors discovered a new approach to their craft. They learned to signify invisible realities, to be varied yet coherent characters, to be present onstage “subconsciously” as one actress would put it. In other words, telephones were the training wheels that steadied their first wobbly attempts at realism.
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copyright 2015, Christopher Grobe