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Alisa Ballard Lin
Ohio State University (Columbus, OH 43210-1132)
Theatrical Consciousness: Actor and Self in Russian Modernism, 1898-1934

A book-length study of the impact of philosophy and psychology on acting and theater in early twentieth-century Russia.

I am applying for NEH funds to complete the archival research and the writing of my book manuscript. The book argues that Russian modernism's radical reinvention of methodologies for theater acting drew on contemporaneous developments in philosophy and psychology to reimagine, via the actor, the broader nature of human consciousness and perception. In turn, I show that the Russian modernist theater directly influenced the development of both philosophy and psychology in the early-Soviet period. Through close study of theoretical writings on the actor, rehearsal notes, plays, and performances from the early-twentieth-century Russian theater, the book demonstrates that Russian modernism treated the theatrical experience as one that is sensory and lived by both actor and spectator, therein anticipating American and European interest in the phenomenology of theater by several decades.

Project fields:
Area Studies; Russian Literature; Theater History and Criticism

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2019 – 7/31/2019