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Philbrick, E. (2017). Assemblies of Chairs: The Politics of Spectatorship in Post-Traumatic Times. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 18(1):72-85.

(2017). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 18(1):72-85

Original Article

Assemblies of Chairs: The Politics of Spectatorship in Post-Traumatic Times

Ethan Philbrick, M.A.

What modalities of spectatorship and performance are emerging today, and why? How do we gather in the face of crisis—ordinary and extraordinary—and violence—traumatic and not-quite-traumatic? What might be gleaned from contemporary performance for other genres of response to crisis, whether clinical, critical, or political? To what extent are psychoanalytic theories of trauma helpful for describing modalities of historical violence in the present? This essay approaches questions such as these by turning to 3 disparate yet resonant sites of recent performance: Combatant Status Review Tribunal, pp. 002954-003064: A Public Reading by Andrea Geyer et al. (2012); Thomas Hirschhorn’s Gramsci Monument (2013); and Rashid Johnson’s production of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka’s play, Dutchman, at the East Village’s Russian and Turkish Baths (2013).

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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