Assistant Professor and Chair of Writing and Rhetoric Hannah Dickinson will be the featured scholar during the first of the HWS Theatre Department’s 2015-2016 Frame/Works series events hosted on Friday, Oct. 23. Dickinson will give the talk, “Locating rape culture: In the press, on your phone, behind the bleachers,” which will take place beginning at 4:45 p.m. in Coxe 7.
The conversation will consider the questions raised by the Theatre Department’s production of “Good Kids” – a new work by award-winning playwright Naomi Iizuka – in relation to the public discourses surrounding high-profile sexual assault cases over the past three years. By delineating trends in the press coverage of these cases and the public’s response, the talk will interrogate the explanations these media sources offer for the production of “rape culture.”
The scholarly analysis of this public discourse, Dickinson says, reveals that instead of “locating” the real spaces and forces that sustain gender-based violence, it may actually ignore the patriarchal structures that underpin secondary schools and colleges and prevent meaningful political action.
Set at a Midwestern high school, in the age of Facebook and Instagram, smartphones and Snapchat, “Good Kids” examines a sexual encounter gone wrong and its public aftermath. Through a contemporary iteration of the ancient Greek Chorus, the play also explores the impact of social media on the lives of young people. Iizuka was commissioned by the Big Ten to write a play featuring strong roles for women as a way to address gender inequity in theatre. Please note: The production contains adult content and language and is not recommended for young audiences.
Dickinson’s talk is free and open to the public. Frame/Works attendees are encouraged to see “Good Kids” that evening. Tickets for the play are $5 and are available for purchase at the College Store or at Area Records in downtown Geneva. A limited number of ticket vouchers are available free to HWS students with ID at the College Store. “Good Kids” will run in Bartlett Theatre on Oct. 22, 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Following the Oct. 23 performance of “Good Kids,” members of the audience are invited to stay for a post-show talk with members of the cast and production team.
Dickinson serves as a rotating director of the HWS Writing Colleagues Program. Her research focuses on the production and circulation of discourses about violence in higher education. Other research interests include writing program administration, peer tutoring and composition pedagogy. Her research has been published in a variety of journals, including Composition Studies, Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, and Reading Research Quarterly. She also co-authored the book, “Taking Initiative on Writing: A Guide for Instructional Leaders.”
Frame/Works is a program designed to draw connections between scholarly examination and artistic practice. Scholars are invited to present their research on a play, playwright, historical moment, genre or style in a pre-show lecture prior to a performance. Following the performance, audience members are invited to participate in a post-show talkback with members of the cast and creative team. Taken together, the pre-show lecture and the post-show talkback, “frame” a “work” of theatrical art.