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HI Faculty Fellow Spotlight: Eero Laine

April 12, 2021

Our second spotlight for the month of April, features Eero Laine whose [Virtual] Scholars@Hallwalls talk, our final session of the 2020-21 academic year, “Entertaining Labor: The Sweaty Theatricality of Mascots and Costumed Characters” takes place on April 23rd at 4pm. Click here to register to attend Eero’s talk.

What material(s) sparked your current project that you are now working on as a faculty fellow?

  • I am always interested in what is happening behind the scenes or, in the case of mascots and costumed characters, who is behind the mask.

What has been a source of entertainment these past months as we deal with coronavirus? Any specific recommendations (books, podcasts, film/tv, etc.)?

  • I have been listening to the radio a lot. I like getting the local news from WBFO in the morning. And then we have been streaming The Current from Minnesota Public Radio ( as we make dinner every evening. The station plays mostly new music and the DJs are all quite charming.

What is your favorite place outdoors in WNY?

  • In the past year, I have really been enjoying my walks through Allentown, Downtown, the West Side, and Elmwood Village. It is wonderful to see all the spring flowers coming up in the past weeks.

Is there a UB colleague whose research or work you think others should know more about?

  • I am inspired by so many of my UB colleagues. During the pandemic, I have been especially impressed by UB’s graduate students who have done so much and so quickly and under such pressure, both in pursuing research that will reshape their fields in the future and in the classroom, developing innovative pedagogy that adapts to the many changing circumstances.

Originating as a 19th century parlor game, popularized by Marcel Proust’s responses, pick a question from the so-called “Proust Questionnaire” to answer.

  • Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    • “indeed”

While the Humanities Institute cannot provide complimentary wine and light fare in this time of virtual gatherings, we’ve asked our speakers to provide a beverage/snack recommendation for each talk.

Eero says, “Considering my research topic, an appropriate drink choice might be sports related beers brewed in Buffalo as a nod to Buffalo mascots such as Billy Buffalo, Sabretooth, Buster Bison, and, of course, UB’s own Victor E. Bull.”

Our thanks to Eero for sharing with us! For more information about Eero and the rest of the 2020-21 HI Faculty Fellow cohort, please visit our Faculty Fellows page.

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