This talk is part of the “Women on Wednesdays” lecture series sponsored by the university’s Women’s Studies Program.
Claire-Lise Holy was a visual artist who worked as a costume and set designer, as well as a painter and writer. She worked on notable productions such as Samuel Beckett and Mortan Feldman’s opera “Neither,” as well as television films and documentaries on writers such as Bertolt Brecht and Gottfried Benn.
Despite her involvement with such well-known writers, Weiss says, Holy’s work was never under their influence; instead, she maintained her own creative voice.
Holy’s art is marked by the use of windows and masks, common images in literature and theater which often signify a conflict between one’s freedom or lack thereof, Weiss says. These motifs highlight Holy’s interest in the ways the personal, literary and artistic self co-exist.
Weiss is a professor of English and chairwoman of the Department of Literature and Language at ETSU. She earned her Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Reading, U.K., in 2002.
She specializes in 20th and 21st-century drama and has contributed books and articles on dramatists including Samuel Beckett, Tennessee Williams, Sam Shepard, Sophie Treadwell and Bob Dylan. Additionally, Weiss’ research has explored the intersections between artists and writers with a focus on women.
The “Women on Wednesdays” series is designed to raise awareness about the research, scholarship and community engagement conducted by women at ETSU; to provide a venue where women on campus and in the community can discuss and support each other’s work, and to give students an opportunity to meet faculty who could become mentors for their studies.