Event Name: CCM Thinking About Music Lecture Series
1:30 p.m. Friday, March 25
Martha Feldman, Ferdinand Scheville Distinguished Service Professor of Musicology at the University of Chicago
This talk explores discourses and practices surrounding transgenderism to invite new ways of conceiving early modern castrated singers onstage and off. Although the cultural values and conditions of castrati cannot be assimilated to those of trans singers, thinking about the castrato / trans adjacently nevertheless exposes cracks in our presuppositions about the ontologies, aesthetics, and even social structures in which castrati were embedded. How might the transgender phenomenon, seen across centuries, inflect our understandings of gender fluidity and vocal fluidity? How might it press us to reconsider such rigid dichotomies as gender facts vs. gender “assignments,” gender representation vs. gender embodiment, and patriarchal representations vs. liberatory ones bound up in notions of becoming (becoming human, becoming the self, discovering one’s true voice)? This lecture attempts to address these questions through trans singers’ thoughts about bodies and voices, concepts of fugitivity from Fred Moten and the Black radical tradition, and trans philosophies of biopolitics, especially by Paul Preciado. Contact Professor Jeongwon Joe for information.
Location: CCM Baur Room