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Lecture/Seminar CSRS Public Lecture Series - Gods and Puppets: The Ghost in Japanese Theatre's Machine 2013-10-03 16:30:00

CSRS Public Lecture Series

Gods and Puppets: The Ghost in Japanese Theatre’s Machine
Cody Poulton, CSRS Faculty Fellow, Department of Pacific and Asian Studies, UVic

Roboticist Mori Masahiro's theory of the "uncanny valley" (the effect created when technology attempts to simulate life), is an interpretive tool and metaphor often used in robotics research and contemporary media studies. The theory, which alludes to 17thcentury playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon's assertion that "art lies in the slender margin between the real and the unreal,” reflects the centuries-old fascination with the technology of simulation and animation existing in Japan.  In this lecture, Cody Poulton discusses how this attraction to theatre, along with technological advances made with puppets and mechanical automata (karakuri ningyô), provide viewers with lessons about humanity, and indeed, life itself.

Cody Poulton has been teaching Japanese language, literature, and theatre at the University of Victoria since 1988. The author of Spirits of Another Sort: The Plays of Izumi Kyōka (2001), A Beggar’s Art: Scripting Modernity in Japanese Drama (2010), and co-editor of the forthcoming Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Drama (2013), Poulton is also a translator of traditional and modern Japanese fiction and drama.

Related Website http://www.csrs.uvic.ca
Times 16:30:00 to 17:30:00

This lecture is free and open to the public.

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