2022 CARL WEBER MEMORIAL LECTURE + SEMINAR
GUEST DAPHNE A. BROOKS
THURSDAY MARCH 03 at 6-7:30PM via ZOOM
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FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
BLACKFACE BROKEN RECORDS: WHITE WOMEN, ‘BLACK’ SOUNDS & THE RISE OF RADICAL BLUES WOMEN
“Blackface Broken Records: White Women, ‘Black’ Sounds & the Rise of Radical Blues Women” threads together an exploration of women in blackface minstrelsy, Progressive Era race riots, the classic black women’s blues craze, and the origins of one of the world’s most famous musicals, Gershwin and Heyward’s Porgy and Bess. In particular, it questions the ways that African Americans navigated an early twentieth-century popular culture that policed and restricted their sounds, and it explores the archival opacities that have long obscured the gendered struggle over sonic innovation in the 1910s. This important pre-history of Porgy and Bess exposes its roots which were steeped in a battle waged between women artists — Black and white, in the north and in the south, and on the eve of a blues music revolution.
ABOUT DAPHNE A. BROOKS
Daphne A. Brooks is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of African American Studies, American Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Music at Yale University. She is the author of Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910, winner of The Errol Hill Award for Outstanding Scholarship on African American Performance from ASTR and Jeff Buckley’s Grace. Her most recent book, Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound (Harvard UP, 2021) is the winner of the 2021 Museum of African American History Stone Book Award, the 2021 Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Nonfiction, and the 2022 Prose Award in Music & the Performing Arts . She has written liner notes to accompany the recordings of Aretha Franklin, Tammi Terrell, Prince, and Nina Simone as well as stories for the New York Times, The Guardian, The Nation, and Pitchfork. Photo credit: Mara Lavitt.
FRIDAY MARCH 04 at NOON-1:30PM via ZOOM
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OPEN to TAPS STUDENTS, FACULTY, and STAFF
TWICE MILITANT FRIENDSHIPS: NINA SIMONE, LORRAINE HANSBERRY, JAMES BALDWIN AND THE BLACK RADICAL ART OF COLLABORATION
This seminar session explores the intersectional, radically progressive lives, performances, and literary and intellectual work of three genius African American artists who were aligned with each other in Black freedom struggle aspirations and intellectual, aesthetic, and political sensibilities and who, likewise, cultivated meaningful friendships with one another at the height of the Civil Rights movement. James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, and Nina Simone drew creative inspiration from each other, produced aesthetic work as forms of critical communication with and heartfelt tributes for one another, and together forged a revolution in Black radical cultural politics that shaped an era. How might we look to their socio-aesthetic and intellectual intimacies as models for our own work in the modern academy and beyond?
- Lorraine Hansberry, “The Negro Writer and His Roots”
- Nina Simone, Chapter 6, I Put A Spell On You
- James Baldwin, “Lorraine Hansberry at the Summit” and “Sweet Lorraine
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