Class Projects/Discussion
This course explores the many ways in which theorists and theatre practitioners have thought about the ways in which staged action (whether in film, theatre, or politics) pacifies, activates, interpolates, and manipulates viewers.  We will explore concepts such as identification, voyeurism, narcissism, bearing witness, percepticide, spect-actor, and others.

Schedule of Topics and Readings

Class 1, January 22

Class 2, January 29  Theories of Spectatorship—an overview
Aristotle, The Poetics
Plato, The Republic, Book 7 [PDF]
Janet Soskice, “Sight and Vision in Medieval Christian Thought” [PDF]

Class 3, February 5   Overview…..continued
Vision and Visuality
Hal Foster, Martin Jay, Jonathan Crary and Norman Bryson from Vision and Visuality [PDF]
Merleau-Ponty, “Eye and Mind” [PDF]
John Berger, Ways of Seeing

Class 4, February 12  Vision, Psychoanalysis, and the Construction of Self/Other
Sigmund Freud,  “Thoughts for the Times on War and Death” [PDF]
Diana Fuss, “The Phantom Spectator” [PDF]
Jacques Lacan:  “The Mirror Stage as formative of the function of the I” [PDF]
Elizabeth Grosz, “The Ego and the Imaginary” (from Jacques Lacan, A feminist Introduction”) [PDF]
Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” [PDF]
Christian Metz, The Imaginary Signifier [PDF]

Class 5, February 19 Photography
Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida (in NYU Bookstore)
Victor Bergin, Thinking Photography “Looking at Photographs” [PDF]

Class 6, February 26  Training the Gaze—Theatre, Performance, Cinema
Herbert Blau, “Odd, Anonymous Needs,”  The Audience, ch. 1. [PDF]
Brecht, Street Scene [PDF]
Augusto Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed


Class 7, March 1   Mediatized Society
Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle [PDF]
Philip Auslander, Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture, ch 1 and 2. [PDF]
Jesus Martin-Barbero and Zilkia Janer, “Transformations in the Map: Identities and Culture Industries” [PDF]

NO Class —March 8 – develop preliminary case study

March 17-21 SPRING BREAK

Class 9, March 24  Vision and Neuroscience
Vittorio Gallese, “The ‘Shared Manifold’ Hypothesis” [PDF]

Class 10, April 1 Witnessing, Panopticism and Percepticide
Foucault, Discipline and Punish, “Panopticism” (ch 5) [PDF]
Dori Laub, “Bearing Witness” (from Testimony) [PDF]
Jacobo Timmerman, Ch 1, Prisoner Without a Name. [PDF]
Diana Taylor, “Percepticide” ch. 5, Disappearing Acts [PDF]
And “Lost in the Field of Vision: Witnessing September 11th” ch 9, Archive & Repertoire [PDF]
Marianne Hirsch, “The Day Time Stopped” [PDF]

Class 11, April 8  Watching Atrocity: Abu-Grahib
Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others and Regarding the Torture of Others [PDF]
TV/Circulation of Images on Web, advertising etc

Class 12, April 15  Surveillance
Gilles Deleuze, “Postscript on Control Socieites” [PDF]
Winfried Pauleit, “Video Surveillance and Postmodern Subjects”
Genosko and Thompson, “Tense Theory” [PDF]
William Bogard, “Surveillance Assemblages and Lines of Flight” [PDF]
Maria Los, “Looking into the Future: Surveillance, Globalization and the Totalitarian Potential”

Class 13, April 22  YOU!
“If You See Something, Say Something!”

Class 14, April 29

May 16, Final Projects/Papers due



The class requires active class participation. Attendance is mandatory. Please let me know if you must miss a class. In addition to class participation, students are responsible for weekly postings to the course web board. The class also requires a written final paper (12-15 pages) and a short class presentation. 

Readings will be available at the NYU Bookstore, or in the Reading packet.
In NYU Bookstore:
Aristotle, The Poetics
Augusto Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed
Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections of Photography
John Berger, Ways of Seeing.
Christian Metz, The Imaginary Signifier: Psychoanalysis and the Cinema
Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others