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Sarah Bay-Cheng Engages with the Modern Intimacies of Drama and New Media

January 22, 2016

The English MA program started the winter term with an intellectual shot in the arm. Distinguished Speaker, Sarah Bay-Cheng, spoke to a packed room on the subject of “The Technological Society On Stage: Technique, Labour, and Dramaturgy in the 21st Century.” Professor of Theatre at Bowdoin College, Sarah was previously Professor of Theatre & Performance at the University at Buffalo, where she served as Director of Graduate Studies in Theatre and as the Founding Director for the Technē Institute for Art and Emerging Technologies. Her publications include Mapping Intermediality in Performance (2010) and Poets at Play: An Anthology of Modernist Drama (2010).

Addressing an audience of English and Theatre students and faculty, as well as members of the greater arts community, Sarah explored the relationships of mediated existence, memory, and history. Her talk offered an analysis of recent works such as Anne Washburne’s Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (2014), Caryl Churchill's Love and Information, artworks by the Dutch artist Dries Verhoeven. The presentation fit sharply with the MA program’s interests in drama, media studies, and urban studies. Sarah is currently working on a special issue of Modernism/Modernity dedicated to avant-gardes and avatars. Her next book project focuses on digital historiography and performance informed by research during her time as a Fulbright Scholar at Utrecht University in fall 2015.