• 17 October 2014
  • 12:30 – 2:00 pm
  • Seminar Room, Paul Mellon Centre

In 1967 Dr Joseph Berke invited Carolee Schneemann to London to perform one of her kinetic theatre performances for the Dialectics of Liberation. This international conference included prominent intellectuals from the New Left such as Herbert Marcuse, antipsychiatrists such as R.D. Laing, David Cooper, Joseph Berke and the prolific leader of the Black Power movement Stokely Carmichael. If the main objective of the conference was to examine violence, demystifying it on all counts, then it is critical to examine Schneemann's role, participation and experience in light of this claim. On the one hand, Schneemann was invited to contribute to a discussion about human objectification and violence. On the other, as soon as she arrived at the conference she was subjected to a great deal of hostility and sexism from both men and women.

In order to theorise and question why Schneemann's kinetic theatre was not understood within an antiwar context, the following questions will be examined.  How exactly did her performance, Round House, deviate from the antiwar agenda expressed by the previously listed speakers? How did Schneemann's performance destabilise some of the "acceptable" methods of antiwar politics put forward by other speakers at the conference? Lastly did her work expose gender as a problem that was blatantly disregarded and ignored within the political context of the conference, the antiwar movement and the New Left?

Cover of LP vinyl record

Cover of LP vinyl record, Produced in conjunction with 'Dialectics of Liberation International Congress: July 1967', 1968

All are welcome! However, places are limited, so if you would like to attend please contact our Events Co-ordinator, Ella Fleming on events@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk

This is a free event and lunch is provided.

About the speaker

  • Sylvie Simonds is an early career academic, and recipient of a Paul Mellon Centre Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2014