Modernizing Melodrama - January 9 through March 11, 2009

Carleton College Art Gallery

Curated by Laurel Bradley and Carol Donelan
With contributions from students who are enrolled in "The Melodramatic Imagination," Department of Cinema and Media Studies

Melodrama, a popular storytelling mode characterized by extravagant emotion and thrills, with roots in nineteenth-century literary and theatrical genres, is often dismissed as old-fashioned and unworthy of critical attention.

Modernizing Melodrama investigates how melodrama modernizes itself in contemporary popular visual media and art. Using specific films and themes in cinema history as frames — ranging from early sensational film serials to studio-era Hollywood tear-jerkers and recent blockbuster action films — this exhibition will present images and objects that embody the ongoing power and persistence of melodrama as an expressive practice.

January 9

"Our Melodramatic Fix"
7:30 p.m., Boliou Hall 104 Linda Williams, Department of Film Studies and Rhetoric, University of California-Berkeley
Opening Reception
8:30 to 10:00 p.m., Art Gallery

February 3

"Bibliophiles Delight: Melodramatic Physiognomy"
4:30 p.m., Gould Library Athenaeum Join faculty members and curators for a close look at Duchenne de Boulogne, Mecanisme de la Physionomie Humaine (Mechanism of Human Physiognomy, 1862), and other volumes, and a tour of Melodrama in the Libe: Highlights from the Collections.

February 12

"Drawn into Melodrama"
4:30 p.m., Boliou Hall 104 Dawn Clements, New York City-based artist Co-sponsored by Committee for Studies in the Arts