Theatre Professor's New Book Examines "Beast-People" in Films

Friday, August 19, 2016

Beast-People coverA new book by Professor of Theatre and Film Mark Pizzato was published earlier this year by Praeger, an imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC.  Beast-People Onscreen and in Your Brain: The Evolution of Animal-Humans from Prehistoric Cave Art to Modern Movies draws together the diverse disciplines of anthropology, neuroscience, psychology, aesthetics, and performance studies to examine the question, “How is our abiding interest in beast-people films like Twilight and Dracula rooted in mankind's animal ancestry?”

Considered “one of the leading figures marrying psychoanalytic thought with neuroscience” (Todd McGowan, author of Enjoying What We Don’t Have, in his review of Pizzato’s book), Dr. Pizzato also delivered scholarly papers at two international conferences this summer. “Inner Theatre and Outer Movie Experiences: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Rasa-Catharsis” was delivered at the Cognitive Futures in the Humanities Conference in Helsinki in June; “Values and Dangers in Movie Watching: Rasa-Cathartic Effects on the Brain’s Inner Theatre” was delivered at the London Film and Media Conference in July.

Beast-People Onscreen and in Your Brain is Dr. Pizzato’s sixth book.