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Fractales - Compagnie Libertivore Alexander Kasser Theater 1 Normal Avenue Montclair , US 07043
Fractales - Compagnie Libertivore Alexander Kasser Theater 1 Normal Avenue Montclair , US 07043
Pascal Rambert Residency and Performances Performance Spaces for the 21st C. (PS21) 2980 Route 66 PO Box 321 Chatham, US 12037

Masks and Carnival Perspectives

Part of Unmasking Masks

Masks and Carnival Perspectives is the first panel discussion in Unmasking Masks, a one-day livestream event that explores the historic and artistic representations of masks. 


8:15 AM Introduction
 Martin Eisner

8:20 AM – 8:50 AM Bakhtin's Masks for the Rogue, Clown, and Fool: The Backstory
Caryl Emerson & Robert Barsky

Professor Caryl Emerson of Princeton University will discuss masks and masking, in connection with theatricality and (especially important to Bakhtin) self-therapy. As we are becoming more aware on a daily basis, masks both conceal and create. Masks are potential – and this makes them essential for those slippery transitional figures of the rogue, the clown, and the fool. These three Bakhtinian mask-figures insist on their right to be ‘other’ in this world, and not make common cause with any single one of the existing categories that life makes available. Such a definition implies something more than concealing and creating, and closer to the apophatic: a mask is everything about what it’s not, what it says no to.

8:50 AM – 9:10 AM Respondent: Martin Eisner

Q&A Moderator: Robert Barsky

Click here to watch the event:

Replay event: Unmasking Masks, Part I | French Culture

About the Speakers 

Robert Barskyworks at the intersection of language studies, literature and law, with applications to border crossings, language theory, radical American milieus, and literatures of the 19th and 20th centuries in English and French. He is the author or editor of numerous books on narrative and law, including  Undocumented Immigrants in an Era of Arbitrary Law: The Flight and Plight of Peoples’ Deemed ‘Illegal’  (2016);  Arguing and Justifying: Assessing the Convention Refugees’ Choice of Moment, Motive and Host Country  (2000);  Constructing a Productive Other: Discourse Theory and the Convention Refugee Hearing  (1994). His works on radical theory and practice include  Zellig  Harris: From American Linguistics to Socialist Zionism  (2011); The Chomsky Effect: A Radical Works beyond the Ivory Tower  (2007); and Noam Chomsky: A Life of Dissent  (1997). He is the founding editor of the border crossing journal AmeriQuests, the founding editor of  Discours social/Social Discourse, and the co-director, with Daniel Gervais, of the Literature and Law Seminar at Vanderbilt’s Robert Penn Warren Center.   

Professor Caryl Emerson is A. Watson Armour III University Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University. Her work has focused on the Russian classics (Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevskii), Mikhail Bakhtin, and Russian music, opera, and theater. Recent projects include the Russian modernist Sigizmund Krzhizhanovskii (1887-1950), the allegorical-historical novelist Vladimir Sharov (1952- 2018), and the co-editing with George Pattison and Randall A. Poole, of The Oxford Handbook of Russian Religious Thought.  

Martin Eisner  is Chair of Romance Studies and Professor of Italian at Duke University. He specializes in medieval Italian literature, particularly the works of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, as well as the history of the book and media. He is the author of Boccaccio and the Invention of Italian Literature (Cambridge UP, 2013) and Dante's New Life of the Book (Oxford UP, forthcoming). He is currently working on a biography of Boccaccio for  Reaktion Books's Renaissance Lives series. 

This event is presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Atlanta, Duke University, Georgia Tech, and Vanderbilt University
with support from the Institut Français, the Beaux-Arts Nantes Saint-Nazaire (France), Les Maîtres d'Art (France),​ Descripto-Université Polytechnique Hauts-de-France, the Atlanta Global Studies Center – Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta), the High Museum of Arts – Atlanta, Centro de Estudios Mexicanos y Centroamericanos – CEMCA (Mexico).