3/8/2022 – Anna B. Gatdula – “Nuclear Spectacles: Silence and Melodrama 1945-1962”

Please join the Theater and Performance Studies Workshop for:

Anna B. Gatdula

PhD Candidate, Music History and Theory

Who will present:

Nuclear Spectacles: Silence and Melodrama 1945-1962

“Duck and Cover,” PSA funded by the Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA)

Respondent: Dr. Tracy C. Davis, Ethel M. Barber Professor of Performing Arts, Professor of English and Theatre, Northwestern University

Tuesday, March 8,
4:30–6:00 PM CST

Please register for the workshop HERE. The workshop coordinators will circulate the paper to all registrants and the Zoom link is made available upon registration.

(Please do not cite or circulate the works-in-progress without the author’s explicit consent.)

We are committed to making our workshop fully accessible to persons with disabilities. Please direct any questions or concerns to TAPS workshop coordinators, Michael Stablein (mstableinjr@uchicago.edu) and Catrin Dowd (catrindowd@uchicago.edu).

ABSTRACT: This chapter will address opera’s silence in the wake of WWII and the aftermath of the novel nuclear problem. The critique follows a Jamesonian dialectical reading of objects such as South PacificOn the Beach, and televised bomb tests, thinking through the mode of silence and genre of melodrama that pervades these cultural formations.

BIO: Anna is a PhD candidate in Music History and Theory. Her dissertation, “Atomic Spectacles of a Nuclear Empire” examines the cultural formations of opera, musical, film, and public service announcement, that narrate the United States’ position as a global superpower in the wake of its use of nuclear weapons. Her research outlines the history of nuclear biopolitics in the US and argues that the aesthetic strategy of spectacle was central to the idealization (or fantasy) of security and the image of citizenship. She is the co-founder and current co-chair of Project Spectrum, a graduate student-led coalition committed to increasing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in music theory, musicology, and ethnomusicology.

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