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America Transformed: How 4 Memorable Photos and 4 Musical Masterpieces Changed Our Country -Cape Cod

August 11, 2019 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

schedule

10:00 AM - 11:20 AM
Understanding America Through Four Remarkable Photographs

Louis Masur / Rutgers University

From its introduction in 1839, photography has transformed the ways in which we see the world. Photographs capture events and also transform them; they depict reality but also tell a story. Scores of photographs have changed America, and we will discuss four of them in detail. Some won't come as a surprise, while others may open eyes anew. Examining the histories of these images, and learning how to read them, provides a deeper understanding of how photographs have shaped, and continue to shape, American society and culture.

  • Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother (1936). The most iconic photograph of the depression, "Migrant Mother" changed how people thought about poverty.
  • Joe Rosenthal, Flag Raising on Mt. Suribichi (1945). People thought it was posed, but it wasn't. It helped the United States to win World War II and define the nation.
  • Nick Ut, Napalm Girl (1972). Images from Vietnam fueled opposition to the war, and the story of the girl in the picture traveled around the world.
  • Stanley Forman, The Soiling of Old Glory (1976). This Pulitzer-prize winning photograph brought the civil rights struggle to the North and transformed how Americans thought of the bicentennial.

Louis Masur / Rutgers University
Louis Masur is a Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University. He received outstanding teaching awards from Rutgers, Trinity College, and the City College of New York, and won the Clive Prize for Excellence in Teaching from Harvard University. He is the author of many books including "Lincoln's Last Speech," which was inspired by a talk he presented at One Day University. His essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, and Chicago Tribune. He is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society and serves on the Historians' Council of the Gettysburg Foundation.

11:40 AM - 1:00 PM
Four Musical Masterpieces That Changed America

Anna Celenza / Georgetown University

Music permeates our lives. Thanks to technology, it is always with us… via the radio, our smart phones, TV commercials, film music, even the streamed music at our local malls and favorite restaurants. Technology has made it easy for us to put music in the background. The goal of this lecture is to bring it front and center again. 

As Professor Celenza will demonstrate, music does not simply reflect culture…it changes it. To demonstrate just how such changes come about, she will highlight four musical masterpieces that changed America. These include: a bawdy 18th-century drinking tune that eventually defined American patriotism, a 1930s ballad that fueled the need for the Civil Rights movement, a 1980s pop album that changed American foreign policy, and a hit Broadway musical that redefined the way many of us think about the founding of America and it's earliest years as an independent country.

Anna Celenza / Georgetown University
Anna Celenza is the Thomas E. Caestecker Professor of Music at Georgetown University. She is the author of several books, including "Jazz Italian Style: From Its Origins in New Orleans to Fascist Italy and Sinatra." In addition to her scholarly work, she has served as a writer/commentator for NPR's Performance Today and published eight award-winning children's books, among them "Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue" and "Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite." She has been featured on nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, including the BBC's "Music Matters" and C-Span's "Book TV."

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