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Look Inside The Spectator and the Spectacle

The Spectator and the Spectacle
Audiences in Modernity and Postmodernity


  • Date Published: October 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107403604

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About the Authors
  • Spectators and audiences are everywhere in contemporary culture. However, even in conventional performance, whether in the theatre, in film or television, or at a sporting event, it is difficult to discuss spectators with any authority, since each of us experiences and understands the display in different ways and all methods of analyzing spectators are flawed or unreliable. This book provides instead a series of investigations into specific types of performance activity, and how they relate to their audiences. Specific topics discussed include the relationship of audiences to the rise of the director, the avant-garde, tourism, gambling, the effect of cinema on live performance and sport, including crowd violence. Spectatorship is an area of increasing importance in the field of theatre and performance studies, and this engaging study is a valuable contribution to the development of thinking about audiences and spectators.

    • Will appeal to students and scholars of theatre and performance studies, Shakespeare studies, film studies and the sociology of media and sport
    • Provides the reader with a variety of approaches and models for further investigation into the important area of audiences
    • Includes a chapter devoted to ritual which examines two examples of divine appearance rituals, the Indian performance called teyyam and the Christian Eucharist
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'Kennedy engages the reader in a series of well-observed, clear-eyed, clear-minded, and finely wrought conversations that are thematically linked, yet also discrete about historically specific audiences and the inevitable failure of efforts to control or contain them in theory or practice.' Modern Drama

    'It is a very refreshing way of putting theoretical "big talk" into concrete perspective … contain[s] some excellent studies on the corporeality and phenomenology of visuality … The idea of various "modes of spectating" promises an intriguing concept …' Theatre Research International

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107403604
    • length: 260 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.35kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Problem of the Spectator:
    1. Introduction: assisting at the spectacle
    2. The director, the spectator and the Eiffel Tower
    3. The avant-garde and the audience
    Part II. Shakespeare and the Politics of Spectation:
    4. Shakespeare and the Cold War
    5. The spectator as tourist
    6. Interculturalism and the global spectator
    7. The body of the spectator
    Part III. Subjectivity and the Spectator:
    8. Society, spectacle and sport
    9. The aroused spectator
    10. Memory, performance and the idea of the museum
    11. Assisting belief: ritual and the spectator.

  • Author

    Dennis Kennedy, Trinity College, Dublin

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