Summer Online Puppet Forum #11: “Wayang: Indonesian Puppet Traditions in Global Modernity” with Matthew Cohen on 8/13

Join the Ballard Institute for our eleventh Summer 2020 Online Puppet Forum Series event on Facebook Live! These forums, hosted by Ballard Institute director and puppet historian John Bell, will consist of discussions with notable scholars and practitioners around the world about the past, present, and future of puppetry and puppetry studies.  

On August 13 at 4 p.m. ET, join Ballard Institute director John Bell and his UConn Puppet Arts colleague Dr. Matthew Cohen for “Wayang: Indonesian Puppet Traditions in Global Modernity.” They will discuss Dr. Cohen’s ongoing work as a historian and anthropologist of Southeast Asian theater and world puppetry, his training and practice as a dalang, or puppeteer in the Indonesian tradition, and his work as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Yale University Art Gallery, where he has been researching and helping to curate the Dr. Walter Angst and Sir Henry Angest collection of over 20,000 Javanese rod puppets and shadow figures—the world’s largest collection of puppets.

Matthew Isaac Cohen is a professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut. His research concerns Indonesian performing arts, traditions of puppetry in global modernity, and international theatre.  He is currently working on a visual history of Indonesian puppetry which takes as its primary source material the Dr. Walter Angst and Sir Henry Angest Collection of Indonesian Puppets at Yale University Art Gallery, the largest wayang collection in the world and the largest collection of puppets in North America. He also performs wayang on occasion under the company banner Kanda Buwana. Before arriving at UConn in August 2019, he was professor of international theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he was the founding director of the Centre for Asian Theatre and Dance and an active contributor to the UK’s puppetry scene.