About the author: Dianne Hunter, Professor of English at Trinity College, Hartford CT, edited Seduction and Theory (Univeristy of Illinois Press, 1989). She has published studies of psychoanalysis and literature in The Practice of Psychoanalytic Criticism, American Imago, SIGNS, The Psychoanalytic Review, and Theatre Journal. She received her Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.1998 0-7734-8499-X
This study describes the creative process of generating the ensemble performance work Dr. Charcot's Hysteria Shows, including the use of Labanotation and group improvisations in decoding the body language of 19th-century hysterics at the Salpetriere, with interpolations from Freud's case histories. This event takes its visual roots from period photographs and drawings used by Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot (France's first psychiatrist) and his followers at the Paris public asylum for madwomen. The verbal text draws from and responds to writings by Sigmund Freud on women, and Charcot's famous lectures, filtered through 20th-century feminist criticism and theory. With illustrations.