'ENTERTAINMENTALITY! MODERNISING PLEASURE IN A VICTORIAN LEISURE INDUSTRY, OR DID FOUCAULT EVER PLAY THE HACKNEY EMPIRE?'
Speaker: Professor Peter Bailey (University of Manitoba)
'Entertainmentality!' marries showbiz hyperbole with theories of governmentality as forms of social discipline in everyday life to suggest how the late Victorian corporate music halls constructed a distinct regime of pleasure as a potent instrument of a new consumer economy. A more seductive form of rational recreation this was a combined discursive and material operation secured through a specific cultural apparatus of language and logistics. Discursively the new industry co-opted liberal claims for the enhanced role of leisure in the modern good life to its own all-purpose rhetoric of 'fun'. In a closely related process, entertainmentality! was triumphantly inscribed in the material fabric and practise of the Palaces and Empires of Britain's belle epoque, a significantly funny business.
Peter Bailey is Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba in Canada. His publications include Music Hall: The Business of Pleasure (1986), Popular Culture and Performance in the Victorian City (1998) and Leisure and Class in Victorian England (3rd ed., 2006).
Time and Date: 5:15 PM, Monday, 6 June.
Location: Pollard Room, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU.
All are welcome. For more information, please contact Dion Georgiou, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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