Music & Social Change

December 9, 2018 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm America/New York Timezone
Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History

Featuring a lecture by Naomi Andre, author of Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement and a performance of Songs from Prison by Jamaican American composer Joel Thompson and more. Artists include harpist Angelica Hairston, tenor Tyrone Webb, and soprano Jayme Alilaw.

Viewing opera as a fertile site for critical inquiry, political activism, and social change, Dr. Naomi Andre’s book, Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement (University of Illinois Press), provides the quintessential starting point to consider music, particularly opera, as a viable vehicle not only for aesthetic and sensory pleasure, but also as an instrument for social change.

In her book, Professor André reveals how Black opera unearths suppressed truths. These truths provoke a complex, if uncomfortable, reconsideration of racial, gender, sexual, and other oppressive ideologies. Opera, in turn, operates as a cultural and political force that employs an immense, transformative power to represent or even to liberate.

FREE – RSVP Required

Naomi André is an associate professor in the departments of African and Afro-American Studies and Women’s Studies and the associate director in the Residential College at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Voicing Gender: Castrati, Travesti, and the Second Woman in Early Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera and co-editor of Blackness in Opera.