The field of literary studies has long recognised the centrality of psychoanalysis as a method for looking at texts in a new way. But rarely has the relationship between psychoanalysis and performance been mapped out, either in terms of analysing the nature of performance itself, or in terms of making sense of specific performance-related activities. In this volume some of the most distinguished thinkers in the field make this exciting new connection and offer original perspectives on a wide variety of topics, including: · hypnotism and hysteria · ventriloquism and the body · dance and sublimation · the unconscious and the rehearsal process · melancholia and the uncanny · cloning and theatrical mimesis · censorship and activist performance · theatre and social memory. The arguments advanced here are based on the dual principle that psychoanalysis can provide a productive framework for understanding the work of performance, and that performance itself can help to investigate the problematic of identity.
Patrick Campbell is Academic Chair of Performing Arts at Middlesex University. Adrian Kear is Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at the University of Surrey Roehampton.