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VESPACE Roundtables on VR Reconstruction of Eighteenth-Century Theatre Environments

  • LSU Student Union Capital Chamber Room (map)

VESPACE (Virtual Early modern Spectacles and Publics, Active and Collaborative Environment) is an international digital humanities collaboration to create an immersive video game based on early eighteenth-century Paris theatres. On Thursday, April 19, 2018, in the LSU Student Union Capital Chamber Room, join project team members from France, England, and the US for roundtable discussions on aural modeling, approaches to architectural recovery, and designing period-appropriate social interactions. Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Department of French Studies, and the Center for Collaborative Knowledge.

The VESPACE (Virtual Early modern Spectacles and Publics, Active and Collaborative Environment) project brings together literary, theatrical, and architectural historians with computer scientists and game designers to create an immersive, interactive “video game” based on the marginal theatres that flourished at Paris Fairgrounds in the eighteenth century. The three roundtable discussions planned for this event will share our ongoing work with the LSU community, and solicit debate and discussion around methodologies and challenges associated with modeling spatial, aural, performance, and social environments based on incomplete or unreliable archival sources. Free and open to the public; all panels will be moderated by project PI Jeffrey Leichman (LSU French Studies).

Roundtable One

The first roundtable, from 1:00pm-2:00pm, will focus on the work of Mylène Pardoen (Université de Lyon 2), a “sound archeologist” and principal investigator on the Projet Bretez (, who will talk about her approach to immersive modeling of the eighteenth-century Paris soundscape.

Roundtable Two

For the second roundtable, from 2:30pm-4:00pm, computer scientist Benjamin Samuel (UNO) will join Arianna Fabbricatore (LABEX OBVIL, Paris-Sorbonne), Isabelle Duval (CETHEFI-Université de Nantes), and Françoise Rubellin (Université de Nantes) to discuss how “social influence rules” can be drawn from historically appropriate sources to create period- and context-appropriate interactions between players and non-player characters. (A social rules authoring “hackathon” will take place on Friday morning; contact Jeffrey Leichman for information on participating.)

Roundtable Three

At the final roundtable, from 4:30pm-6:00pm, Florent Laroche (Ecole Centrale de Nantes), Paul François (Ecole Centrale-Université de Nantes), Jan Clarke (Durham University, England) and Panill Camp (Washington University in St. Louis) will discuss sources and issues related to architectural modeling of long-destroyed theatrical spaces, and how this process has lead to new archival discoveries.

Light refreshments provided. Please contact Jeffrey Leichman ( with questions or for further information.

Event sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the LSU Department of French Studies, and the LSU Center for Collaborative Knowledge.