America in the French Imaginary,  1789-1914
Title Details

410 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

40 b/w, 18 line illus.

Series: Music in Society and Culture

Imprint: Boydell Press

America in the French Imaginary, 1789-1914

Music, Revolution and Race

Edited by Diana R. Hallman and César A. Leal

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
Just as America was observed in French literary and political commentary, we find representations of America in French music, dance, and theatre which serve as the focus of this volume.
Following the American Revolution, French authors often viewed the United States as a laboratory for the forging of new practices of liberté and égalité, in affinity with France's own Revolutionary ideals but in competition with lingering anti-American depictions of an inferior, untamed New World.

The volume examines French imagining of America through musical/theatrical portrayals of the American Revolution and Republic, soundscapes of the Statue of Liberty, homages to Washington, Franklin and Lafayette and negotiations of Francophone identity in New Orleans. The subject of race features prominently in paradoxical depictions of slavery, freedom, and revolution in the United States and French Caribbean colonies of 'Amérique' and in varied interpretations of American music and gendered identity. Essays consider French constructions of the Indigenous American and Black American 'exotic' that intersect with tropes of noble, pastoral savagery, menacing barbarism and the 'civilising' potency of French culture. Such French constructions reveal both a revulsion of racial alterity and an attraction to the expressive, even subversive, freedom of Americanness. Investigations of French conceptions of America extend to critiques of American orchestral music, Gottschalk's Louisianan-Caribbean Creole works, Buffalo Bill's spectacles and the cakewalk in Paris. With scholarly contributions on music, dance, theatre and opera, the volume will be essential reading for students and scholars of these disciplines.
Introduction

Part I. American liberté, sauvagerie and esclavage
1 Between Amérique and Colonial France: Revolutionary Tales of liberté and esclavage Diana R. Hallman
2 Justamant's Le Bossu and Depictions of Indigenous Americans in Nineteenth-Century French Ballet
Marian Smith, Sarah Gutsche-Miller and Helena Kopchick Spencer
3 Louisiana Imagined: Gender, Race and Slavery in Le Planteur (1839)
Helena Kopchick Spencer

Part II. Myths of America and Intersecting Identities
4 'Brise du Sud': American Identity and War in the Popular Sheet Music of Francophone New Orleans
Charlotte Bentley
5 'The Most Seductive Creole Indolence': Louis Moreau Gottschalk in the French Press
Laura Moore Pruett
6 Symphonies from the New World: The Myths and Realities of American Orchestral Music in France
Douglas Shadle

Part III. Soundscapes and Sonic Fantasies
7 Historical Acoustemology in the French Romantic Travelogue: Chateaubriand's Sonic Imagining of the New World
Ruth E. Rosenberg
8 La Liberté éclairant le monde: Transatlantic Soundscapes for the Statue of Liberty
Annegret Fauser

Part IV. America, Commodification and Race at the fin de siècle9 Buffalo Bill and the Sound of America at the 1889 World's Fair
Mark A. Pottinger
10 Cakewalking in Paris: New Representations and Contexts of African American Culture
César A. Leal

Bibliography
Index

DIANA R. HALLMAN is Professor of Musicology, University Research Professor, and Coordinator of the Opera Research Alliance at the University of Kentucky.

CÉSAR A. LEAL is Assistant Professor and Director of Orchestral Activities in the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College. He also served as musicology professor and conductor at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN.

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9781783277001

May 2022

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Title Details

410 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

40 b/w, 18 line illus.

Series: Music in Society and Culture

Imprint: Boydell Press