Queer Musical Orientalism

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Text of a presentation titled “Queer Musical Orientalism” for the Conference of Aesthetics and Difference at the University of California, Riverside (1998). From Nadine Hubbs’ introduction to this article: “The present paper…marks a further point in the evolution of Philip’s thinking on musical orientalism in the work of homosexual modernist composers—here, Poulenc, Britten, Harrison, McPhee, and Cage—and its tangled relations to both colonial domination and anti-homophobic resistance. The paper is unmistakably Brettian in its nuanced and unflinching approach to the multidirectional flow of power and privilege around gay white men’s use of musical tropes of the racialized other to encode the sexual other. Even in this brief text, intended for oral presentation, we find a complex anti-homophobic and postcolonial critique marked by theoretical, historical, and queer self-critical awareness, and bracing in its intellectual and ethical clarity.”

by: Phillip Brett

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  • keywords: cultural context; global history; race studies; gender studies; queer studies; appropriation; ethics; Western music
  • Listing ID: 2040
  • Resource Type: Article/Paper
  • Geographic Area: multiple regions
  • Audience: undergrad + grad
  • Century: 1900-1999 (20thC)