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Vaudeville as a form of indigenous self-expression

 

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

What do you think of when you hear or read Vaudeville? Nostalgia for a simpler time of gas-lamp lit stage productions? A smile at the thought of the slapstick, episodic comedies that gave rise to early cinema and classic cartoons? Or maybe more problematic images such as the racialized minstrel shows?

I’m willing to bet you wouldn’t have thought of Vaudeville as a space where indigenous performers could practice greater autonomy, self-determination and identity building than in any other venue available at the time. But this was one of the central points of Christine Bold’s fascinating lecture, “Indigenous Modernities: From Wild West to Vaudeville.”

Professor Bold (University of Guelph) described some of the results of her ongoing project to recover a hidden history in which native performers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries used the Vaudeville stage to construct modern indigiocity....

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'The Container' theatre performance at Congress is innovative and fresh

 

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2016 is about more than groundbreaking academic panels and innovative keynote speakers; it’s also about showcasing cultural events organized by the University of Calgary School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA). The first of these performances is an excerpt of the play The Container by Clare Bayley, directed and designed by University of Calgary MFA graduate students Azri Ali and Michael Sinnott.

Mr. Sinnott’s stage design features a wood and plexiglass replica of a standard shipping container wherein three female refugees, desperate to reach safety in Britain, must contend with an antagonistic agent working to smuggle them across the border—for a price. Placed on either side of the container, in a format that Mr. Sinnott describes as a “parliamentary stage” (political implication definitely intended), the audience is forced to contend not...

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Congress in the news - May 28

 

Congress 2016: Pseudolus

CBC

This weekend you've got a chance to see an ancient Roman play -- first performed way back in 191 B.C -- at a baseball diamond at Foothills Stadium. Clem Martini is the Chair of the U of C's drama department...

University of Calgary to host an inside scoop on Canadian politics

The Globe and Mail

It is often described as the academic Olympics, but the upcoming Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences that runs for the next week at the...

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