September 3, 2013 — Joseph Roach

Invisible Cities

“Invisible Cities” tells a ghost story that also solves a mystery. The mystery is this:  born after the Second World War, I became an eye-witness to the First World War.  How is that possible?  Only the dynamically interdisciplinary field of performance studies has a satisfactorily rational, albeit emotionally harrowing, answer.  My purpose is to keynote this semester’s IPSY presentations and demonstrate the efficacy of our research as the single most exciting catalyst for a national revitalization of the arts and humanities K-12 as well as in colleges and universities.

Arguing for an intensified historical consciousness in performance studies generally, “Invisible Cities” derives from my work leading an intensive seminar for the Yale National Initiative for Public School Teachers last summer.  These are the best teachers from the public school systems most at risk today, and they work with Yale faculty to develop innovative Curriculum Units to bring back to their students in inner city and Native American reservation schools.