Cowboys and Magicians. Final magic seminar on Friday 14 June

Published: 12 June 2002

In the final magic seminar, to be held on Friday 14 June, Ronald G Walters of John Hopkins University will give a presentation entitled 'Cowboys and Magicians: Buffalo Bill, Houdini, and Real Magic'

Genevieve Warwick of the Arts & Humanities Research Institute writes:

What, then, is real magic, and is there a magical modernism? The curious film careers of Buffalo Bill and Houdini, and the P.T. Barnum-inspired crisis of American commercial representations of both the magical and the real will be the subject of this Friday's guest in the final Humanities Institute magic seminar.

Ronald G. Walters is Professor of History at the Johns Hopkins University, and his long-standing interests include nineteenth- and twentieth- century American popular culture, and the radical and reform movements of the nineteenth century. He is the author of The Antislavery Impulse: American Abolitionism After 1830 (1976, 1984), and American Reformers (1978, 1997). His seminar paper, 'Cowboys and Magicians: Buffalo Bill, Houdini, and Real Magic', will lead us to consider the conflicting claims of early film: radical departure, new magic, and new reality, or same old message, different medium?

14 June, 12 noon, 7 University Gardens, all welcome, lunch follows.

Those who would like to prepare for the talk may consult:

Miles Orvel, The Real Thing. Imitation and Authenticity in American Culture, 1880-1940 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989).

James W. Cook, 'Introduction: Thinking With Tricks', in The Arts of Deception: Playing with Fraud in the Age of Barnum (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001), pp. 11-29. PHOTOCOPY ON RESERVE GUL

Kenneth Silverman, 'Historical Note: The Matrix of Performance', in Houdini!!! The Career of Ehrich Weiss (New York: Harper Collins, 1997), pp. 36-44. PHOTOCOPY ON RESERVE GUL

Joy S. Kasson, 'Memory and Modernity', in Buffalo Bill's Wild West: Celebrity, Memory, and Popular History (New York: Hill and Wang, 2000), pp. 221-63. PHOTOCOPY ON RESERVE GUL

For more information: 0141-330-4139 0141-330-4588


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First published: 12 June 2002

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