MemberJennifer Rhodes

Jennifer Rhodes is a Core Lecturer in Literature Humanities at Columbia University. Her research investigates sites of interchange between literature and the visual and performing arts in Europe and the Americas. Her current book project explores the influence of Richard Wagner on the 20th century novel. Jennifer draws extensively upon the disciplines of film studies, performance studies, translation studies, and gender studies in her research. She spends summers on the staff of The Santa Fe Opera, where she runs and writes subtitles and speaks frequently on opera and drama. Jennifer is particularly interested in the ways in which narratives move across the permeable membranes of medium, culture, and time. She is the recipient of Columbia’s Meyerson Award for Excellence in Core Teaching for Literature Humanities and is deeply invested in experimental pedagogy, particularly in strategies that incorporate performing and visual arts practices into the literature classroom.

MemberDrew Daniel

My teaching centers upon English literature of the 16th and 17th century, especially the drama of Shakespeare, Marlowe and Jonson and the poetry of Spenser and Milton, but I also frequently teach the intersection of that literary archive with political philosophy, metaphysics, medical writing, affect theory, eco-materialism, queer theory and psychoanalysis. In a separate stream of writing and thinking, I work on musical subculture and performance. When I’m not doing those things, I also make electronic music with my partner in a group called Matmos and by myself as The Soft Pink Truth.

MemberLawrence Kramer

Lawrence Kramer (b. 1946) grew up in Philadelphia and New York and was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and at Yale.  A prizewinning composer whose works have been performed throughout the United States and Europe, he holds the position of Distinguished Professor of English and Music at Fordham University. He is the author of fifteen books and the longtime editor of the journal Nineteenth-Century Music. His scholarly work has been translated into ten languages and has been the subject of session meetings at scholarly societies and symposiums in the United States, Europe, Brazil, and China. Kramer’s books on music and culture include, most recently, Song Acts: Writings on Words and Music (Brill, 2017); a trilogy on musical understanding comprised of  The Thought of Music (University of California Press, 2016), winner of the 2017 ASCAP Virgil Thomson Award for Outstanding Music Criticism, Expression and Truth: On the Music of Knowledge (California, 2012), and Interpreting Music (California, 2010); and Why Classical Music Still Matters (California, 2007).  Musical Meaning and Human Values (Fordham University Press, 2009), co-edited with Keith Chapin, is a collection based on an international conference held in Kramer’s honor in 2007. The 2007 conference featured the premiere of seven songs for voice and cello to texts adapted from Nietzsche’s The Gay Science, since then incorporated in an eleven-song cycle, “Bearing the Light,” performed in New York City in 2014.  The premiere marked a return to composition after fifteen years of intensive work in musicology. Performances have steadily followed across the United States and Europe, with premieres in New York, London, Edinburgh, Oxford, Vienna, Ghent, and Stockholm.  Kramer’s quartet movement “Clouds, Wind, Stars” won the Composers Concordance “Generations” Prize in 2013.  His music has also won competitions by the Hartford Opera Theater and Ensemble for These Times.  “Star and Shadow” for trumpet and piano (another competition winner) appeared on CD/mp3 in 2014. Other recent performances include Pulsation for Piano Quartet (Ghent, Belgium, 2013); Songs and Silences to Poems by Wallace Stevens (London, 2013; Belgrade, 2014); four string quartets: nos. 2 and 6 (New York City, 2013), 5 (New York City, 2015), and 7 (New York City, 2016; Bern Switzerland, 2017); “Bearing the Light” for voice and cello (Durham, N. C., 2014); “A Short History (of the 20th Century)” for voice and percussion (Krakow, Poland, 2012; New York City 2014); “Sand Dunes” for unaccompanied flute (Salvador, Brazil, 2014); “Aftermath: Four Songs of the Civil War” for tenor and piano (New York City, 2015); “Nimbus” (two songs from Walt Whitman’s Drum-Taps for tenor and piano; Cambridge, Mass., 2015); Six Nietzsche Fragments for baritone, violin, and piano (New York City, 2015); Erat Hora (six songs to texts by Ezra Pound for soprano, baritone, and piano; New York City, 2016); “The Stillness in the Air”: Six Poems of Emily Dickinson for mezzo soprano and piano, New York City, 2017; Sonata for Violin and Piano, New York City, 2017; and “Wingspan” for String Sextet, New York City, 2017.

DepositThe 20th Century Geopoetics of the American Southwest

The Southwest is: an atomic testing zone, a paradise, a penal colony, a frontier, a mineral paradise, a fertile space, an arid zone, a forsaken wilderness, a region of mind-boggling biodiversity, an aesthetic haven, a brutal and ugly corpse-field, a mythical highway, the Devil’s Highway, everything, and nothing. This paper begins as an overview of several narrative trends that feature the Southwest as a literary space. 20th C. Native American Literature of the Southwest has given nature a primary narrative place. Nature is resonant and enables a dialectics of self-discovery and healing. Anglo American Literature often sees the Southwest as a wilderness against which to encounter one’s identity—Nature must be confronted and overcome for both national and personal reasons. Chicano Literature asserts and celebrates the myth of Aztlán, and this paper will specifically consider the highly political and experimental Chicano novels of the 1970s. I will also briefly discuss the much smaller, but incredibly revealing and important African American and Japanese American literary contributions to Southwestern Literature. Ultimately, I argue for the importance of drawing a literary map of the Southwest that takes into account each and every quirk, turn, and contestation provided by the many narrative strands I will investigate. The literary topography of this unique space is one that we must continue to consider for the sake of collective identities, environmental safekeeping, existential exploration, and (inter)national politics for quite some time to come.

MemberCharlotte Bentley

I am a Junior Research Fellow at Emmanuel College. Having received my BA from the University of Cambridge in 2013, I went on to do an MA at the University of Nottingham the following year. I completed my PhD (funded by the AHRC) at Cambridge under the supervision of Dr Benjamin Walton in October 2017. My research focuses on operatic mobility in the nineteenth century, using the translation of opera into non-European environments as a way of examining questions of international cultural transfer in the period more broadly. So far, I have worked on New Orleans, which was home to the first (and, for some thirty-five years, the only) permanent opera company in North America, and recruited its performers each year from Europe. I have explored the city’s place within growing global operatic systems, arguing for the centrality of human agency to the long-term development of transatlantic networks of production, as well as the role of material culture in promoting an increasingly international operatic discourse. At the same time, I have sought to understand the more distinctively local aspects of the city’s operatic life, in terms of the theatre-going experience and the adaptation/reception of particular works. During my research fellowship, I look forward to beginning a larger project about touring opera in the Caribbean and southern United States, exploring the ways in which operatic translocation might challenge dominant narratives of nineteenth-century globalisation. My other research interests include Jules Massenet, operatic realism, and the influence of media technologies on the production and reception of opera in the late nineteenth century.