Lon Chaney and the ethics of horror on April 10 in Truckee | SierraSun.com

Lon Chaney and the ethics of horror on April 10 in Truckee

TRUCKEE, Calif. — If you are not already enthralled by Lon Chaney, “The Man of a Thousand Faces,” his biography and work will be displayed during Sierra College Insights Friday, April 10, presentation.

Chaney, an actor honored for his exquisite skill in theatrical cosmetics and pantomime, is well known for performances in silent horror films including “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”

“Chaney’s films can be seen as meditations on the promises and limits of sympathy,” shares University of Nevada, Reno, English professor Katherine Fusco, who will lead the April 10 presentation. “Chaney’s star persona and his filmography explore the relationship between identification and empathy, revealing the ethical problems of basing the latter on the former. To do so, he experimented with non-normative faces, repeatedly transforming through makeup, so that the stability of the face comes into question.”

Ray Bradbury said, “The history of Lon Chaney is the history of unrequited loves. He brings that part of you out into the open because you fear that you are not loved, you fear that you never will be loved, you fear there is some part of you that’s grotesque, that the world will turn away from.”

During this interactive presentation, attendees will discuss clips from Chaney’s films and hear insights based on Fusco’s work.

Fusco teaches courses in 19th and 20th century literature and visual culture at UNR. Her research explores the ways in which different media register social change.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York and a PhD from Vanderbilt University, where she served as the Assistant Director of the Writing Studio and was a Senior Lecturer.

Her upcoming book is titled “Progress Without People: Time, Narrative, and Modernity in Silent Film and U.S. Naturalist Literature.”

Reservations are required for the 7 to 8:15 p.m. program, and can be made at sierracollege.ticketleap.com. Attendees are invited to socialize over refreshments sponsored by Starbucks from 6:30 to 7 p.m.

After April 10, there is one session remaining in the spring 2015 Sierra College Insights series — “Arthurian Legends and the Holy Grail” with UNR’s Phil Boardman will take place on May 8.

This article was submitted to the Sun by Sierra College. For information, visit sierracollege.ticketleap.com or call 530-550-2225.

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