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[Virtual] Scholars@Hallwalls: Eero Laine, “Entertaining Labor: The Sweaty Theatricality of Mascots and Costumed Characters”

April 23 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Join us for a virtual edition of our Faculty Fellows talks, our last session for 2020-21! This lecture series brings current UB humanities research out into the community.

Eero will present his talk live on Zoom with a Q+A session following.

Mascots and costumed characters often function as figures for communities to playfully project their interests, test limits of representation, and share in earnest and ironic admiration. They stand in for something larger—an idea, team, company, or nation. They are also, however, inhabited by an individual performer, whose body and labor are intentionally concealed, subsumed, by the fabric of the costume. This presentation examines the labor that animates mascot costumes as a form of sweaty theatricality that congeals in the characters themselves, opening theoretical and material possibilities for considering the work of performance.

About Eero Laine, Assistant Professor, Theatre and Dance

Eero studies commercial forms that carry implications for how we think about and approach performance and theatre. He is the author of Professional Wrestling and the Commercial Stage and is currently co-editing a volume entitled Sports Plays. He has co-edited two other volumes examining political and popular performance. Drawing on methodologies from theatre and performance practice, Eero frequently writes and researches collaboratively, working across networks developed through Performance Studies International and other organizations. He is the editor of the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism and co-editor of Lateral, the journal of the Cultural Studies Association.

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.”


April 23
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Humanities Institute