Special Studies:

SAME AS H42.2960

This project is a study of three German-Jewish musical spaces in Berlin, where dilemmas of minoritarian citizenship played out in relation to questions of nation and empire from 1820 to 1920. Toward this end, we will focus on an unusual constellation of scenes that featured joint Jewish-Gentile leadership: (a) the salon; (b) the popular stage (circus, varieté, and theater revue); and (c) the scientific sound laboratory. In the first case, centered around the salon of Fanny Hensel, a haute bourgeois woman of Jewish descent curated influential discussions of world culture and notions of the Orient within semi-private musical settings, while staving off anti-Semitic stereotypes of the social parvenu. In my second case, itinerant Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe found upward mobility on the late 19th-century popular stage, conjuring pictures of the German “home” and the “exotic” colonies in musical comedy, acrobatics, and drama. In the third case, assimilated German-Jewish scholars countered notions of biological racism while furthering high imperial projects of knowledge production through the collection and archiving of musical recordings from throughout the world. While studying these musical scenes, we will read in political theory, studies of imperialism, citizenship, postcolonialism, history of race, Jewish studies, and media theory. Theorists at the center of this study will include Arendt, Benjamin, Mbembe, Mignolo, Stoler, Said, and Gilroy.

A substantial proportion of doctoral seminars are offered each year under this heading






Spring 2021

Brigid Cohen
R: 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM ONLI

Fall 2021

Christine N Dang
T: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM ONLI
David W Samuels
R: 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM SILV 318