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Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry Spring Puppet Forum
March 25, 2021 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
For its second online installment of the 2021 Spring Puppet Forum Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host “Puppet and Spirit: Living Gods, Demonic Snakes, Robotic Buddhas, and Migrant Relics” with puppetry studies scholars Claudia Orenstein, Tim Cusack, Ana Martinez, and Deepsikha Chatterjee on March 25, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. ET, one half hour later than the usual forum start time.
Join these four distinguished scholars as they explore the diverse relationships that exist between the spiritual world and performing objects, in both traditional forms of puppetry and contemporary artistic expressions. This forum is co-sponsored by the UConn Asian American Cultural Center, Asian and Asian American Studies Institute, Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center, and El Instituto.
Why and how do we turn to the material world to connect with spiritual and supernatural dimensions of experience? How are performing objects used in ritual activities or other performative acts that touch on our deepest beliefs and questions about the nature of human existence? What religious and ontological perspectives frame these endeavors in both religious and non-religious contexts? Our Forum participants will address these issues in terms of their own research into: the objects migrants have left behind on the southern U.S. border; the ritual use of oversize animal puppets in Assam, India; humanoid android characters in the HBO series Westworld; and other ways that puppets are considered powerful spiritual entities with a consciousness.