Events Calendar

Music Graduate Colloquium: Dan Wang

Friday, October 23, 2020
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
via Zoom
Graduate Colloquium Series

Presented by Graduate Studies in Music, the Don Wright Faculty of Music Graduate Colloquium series includes lectures by distinguished guests, Western faculty members, and senior graduate students on all fields of research and creative activity in music.

Dan Wang (University of Pittsburgh)
“Opera and Addiction”

Admission is free, and all are welcome to join.

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We have two models for thinking about the dyad health/illness. In one, health is the default state and illness is its temporary interruption. In the other, the model exemplified by what is called “mental health,” it is illness that is unconscious and everyday, while health is the dreamy future in which you will one day be free of your sabotaging tendencies. This talk begins with the observation that this second conceptual mapping of health/illness shares something with the leitmotiv, another discourse form that arose in the nineteenth-century: both project a readerly position—that of the therapist and the music analyst—who looks back on what has happened and is able to draw patterns out of the ongoing texture of the past. What happens to notions of the self (and to aesthetic theory) when the present is refigured as a moment to be read after the fact, and when the noticing of patterns becomes a key technique in the project of self-making? I will show that there are structural continuities between ways of thinking about the self in the contemporary world and aesthetic technologies that follow in the leitmotiv’s wake, such as cinematic diegesis—continuities that expose what is formal and historical about the imagination of Western personhood in the present. 

Please contact Audrey Yardley-Jones by email to request Zoom access information

Audrey Yardley-Jones - Graduate Program Assistant
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