I am currently working on my audiovisual book "Televising Taste: Performing Classical Music on American Screens," a multi-modal project that consists of both written and video components. It is based on my dissertation research (see below). Please find the trailer here:
My dissertation "Televising Taste: Negotiations of European Classical Music and American Culture in the TV Performances of Leonard Bernstein, Victor Borge, and Nam June Paik" is available via ProQuest here.
The dissertation explores how American television portrayed canonical European classical music in the Cold War era. I analyze televisual negotiations of music-cultural hierarchies to complicate common narratives about the postwar decades as a peak moment of polarity between “high” and “low” culture, and between ideologies of consensus and rebellion. Drawing on discourse analysis, archival research, and close readings, I suggest that the classed legacies of European classical music played an important part in American quests for national identity and that they were interwoven with and negotiated through popular media. Within the wider historical context of mutual influences between media technologies and music culture, my primary focus rests on three artists who foregrounded classical music on TV: Leonard Bernstein, Victor Borge, and Nam June Paik. By embracing TV’s associations with liveness, domesticity, and mass reception, all three challenged canonical idealizations of musical genius and purist remnants of the classed concert etiquette. Through an account of three modes of musical mediation on TV during this period—educational, comedic, and participatory—this dissertation addresses larger ideological and historical implications of taste and canon politics, and contributes a new interdisciplinary perspective on the interdependence of music and media cultures.
The following publications are at least partly based on my dissertation research:
"The Mighty Maestro on Screen." NECSUS: Audiovisual Essays, Autumn 2019_#Gesture. Available here.
"Mediating and Disrupting the Flow: Classical Music Conventions in the Performance and Video Art of Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman." Music, Sound, and the Moving Image. Vol. 14, Issue 2, Winter 2020, pp. 141-158.