Feb. 27: Theatre Circle Presents Dr. Amy E. Cook on King Lear and Cognitive Science

Cook_Staging-nothingStaging Nothing, Staging Science: King Lear and the Theatricality of What is Absent

Being and seeing bodies speak onstage is powerful—it manages to change minds. The seemingly simple ability to watch, understand, appreciate, and be moved by a theatrical production is, in fact, an extraordinary cognitive and biological feat. In this, the final Theatre Circle Lecture of the season, Dr. Amy Cook focuses on the performance of science and the science of performance in Shakespeare’s language, examining how conceptual linguistics illuminates Cordelia’s invocation of “nothing,” in the King Lear’s opening scene and Lear’s desperate attempt to capture some sign of life from his daughter at the play’s end.

Thursday, February 27 | 5:30 pm
Studio Theatre
2nd Floor, Lee Norvelle Theatre & Drama Center
Corner of 7th and Jordan

Dr. Amy Cook, Theatre History, Theory, & Literature


AMY COOK is Associate Professor of Theatre History, Theory, and Literature at Indiana University. She specializes in the intersection of cognitive science (particularly cognitive linguistics, theories of embodied and embedded cognition, and empathy), and theories of performance, theatre history and dramaturgy, early modern drama, and contemporary productions of Shakespeare. Her book, Shakespearean Neuroplay: Reinvigorating the Study of Dramatic Texts and Performance through Cognitive Science, provides a methodology for applying cognitive science to the study of drama and performance. With Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a test subject and the cognitive linguistic theory of conceptual blending as a tool, Cook unravels the “mirror held up to nature” at the center of Shakespeare’s play. She is co-chair, with John Lutterbie, of the Cognitive Science in Theatre and Performance Working Group at the American Society of Theatre Research conference (2010 and 2011).

She was a Mellon Fellow in dramaturgy, directing, and dramatic literature at Emory University in Atlanta, where she was commissioned to write a documentary theatre piece on race at Emory University, presented at the Brave New Works Festival in February of 2009. She received her Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama at University of California, San Diego where she studied with Louis Montrose, Bryan Reynolds, Jim Carmody, Janet Smarr, and cognitive scientists Gilles Fauconnier, Rafael Núñez, and Seana Coulson. She got received her B.A. in theatre directing and psychology (a self-designed individual concentration through the Honors Program) from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

April 1: Dr. Gary Taylor Discusses Shakespeare as Multimedia Artist

The Department of Theatre & Drama Presents a Seminar with Gary Taylor, Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University

    Dr. Gary Taylor, Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University

Dr. Gary Taylor, Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University

“Platformalism: Shakespeare as Multimedia Performance Poet”

April 1, 2013 | 5:00 – 6:15pm
Lee Norvelle Theatre & Drama Center, AD 152

GARY TAYLOR is Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University, where he founded their interdisciplinary History of Text Technologies program in 2005 and is currently a founding member of their interdisciplinary Performance in Context group. The (co)author or (co)editor of 22 books, a Guggenheim fellow, winner of the MLA prize for distinguished scholarly editing and the Elizabeth Deitz prize for outstanding contribution to early modern studies, Taylor was co-general editor of the revolutionary 1986 Oxford edition of Shakespeare’s works. That edition for the first time edited Shakespeare as a writer specifically for the theatre. He is currently working on the multimedia collection, New Oxford Shakespeare, the first Complete Works to include an Equity actor as one of its general editors, and to incorporate theatre as a form of research. Since 1992 he has worked with theatre companies in New York, Washington, Chicago, London and Canada, and with university theatre programs in New Zealand and Florida. In 2010 he co-founded Hoosier Bard Productions.