Strandberg to Speak at February Andiron Lecture

Posted: Monday, January 20, 2020

Kristen Strandberg, PhD, University of Evansville assistant professor of music, will be the speaker for the Andiron Lecture on February 5. The lecture will begin at 4:00 p.m. in Eykamp Hall, Room 252, Ridgway University Center. This event is free and open to the public.

Strandberg will be discussing “Constructing Otherness: Critical Representation of Musicians in the Press.” Nineteenth-century French critics frequently asserted the superiority of French musicians, often discussing marginalized performers in language that implied their inferiority. Critics especially targeted foreign and female performers by pointing out their “mechanical” playing style to demonstrate a performer’s lack of artistry and nuance. In this lecture, Strandberg will demonstrate the range of cultural meaning behind assertions of “mechanical” playing. Critical and philosophical writings of the period reveal anxieties about the increased mechanization of culture following the Industrial Revolution and the ways those anxieties affected the arts. Meanwhile, the popularity of automata in stage shows and contemporary literature demonstrates a new and widespread fascination with technology as entertainment. In exploring the cultural assumptions and meanings of mechanized performance, we see these simultaneous anxieties and fascinations.

Strandberg holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in Musicology from Indiana University. Her research focuses on the reception of violin virtuosity in mid-nineteenth-century Paris, examining concert reviews in the press to explore how critics and listeners perceived and discussed these performers. Her recent publications include articles in the Journal of Musicological Research and the Journal of Music History Pedagogy. She has presented at conferences throughout the U.S. and Europe, recently appearing as an invited speaker at the annual conference of the National Chopin Institute in Poland.

For further information, call the series coordinator Annette Parks at 812-488-1070 or the William L. Ridgway College of Arts and Sciences at 812-488-2589.

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