Florence Dore, “Novel Sounds: American Fiction in the Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll” (Part 2)

Novel Sounds

​In part 2 of this interview, Florence Dore and host Robert Newman ​continue to explore ​the surprising reciprocity between rock and literature​​. They also discuss the conference Novel Sounds—upcoming October 14-15 at the National Humanities Center—which will bring together scholars, critics, and performers to examine rock’s broader connections to a wide array of social, historical, and cultural concerns.

Novel Sounds: American Fiction in the Age of Rock and Roll

Novel Sounds

The National Humanities Center announces a new public program entitled Novel Sounds: American Fiction in the Age of Rock and Roll, to be held at the Center October 14-15, 2016. This conference provides a forum for examining rock and roll as a literary form of expression crucially shaping our national heritage. Panelists will explore the surprising reciprocity between the apparently irreverent form of rock and roll and serious literature. Although the birth of rock dates to the mid-1950s, Novel Sounds examines the relationship as it has been developing since the emergence of the ballad form itself.

Friday and Saturday, October 14–15, 2016

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Florence Dore, “Novel Sounds: American Fiction in the Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll” (Part 1)

Novel Sounds

While it is not difficult to perceive rock ‘n’ roll’s profound influence on American culture since the mid-1950s, we seldom consider the surprising reciprocity between rock and serious literature. In this podcast, host Robert Newman talks with Florence Dore about the rock-literature nexus and on the ways that rock has both reflected and helped shape our national heritage.

John Corrigan, “The Spatial Humanities”

In recent years, historians, literary theorists, archaeologists, geographers and others have been exploring space—both physical and metaphorical—and the ways that it shapes, and is shaped by, us. Host Richard Schramm talks with John Corrigan about “the spatial humanities,” a turn in academic research that brings together scholars from diverse fields, using new digital tools to better understand how we live in our spaces and how those spaces influence economics, politics, and culture.

Tim Carter, “Let ’Em Eat Cake: Political Musical Theater in 1930s America”

Among all the classic Broadway shows of the 1930s, a fair number stand out by engaging directly with the New Deal politics of a turbulent decade. Why did the likes of George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, and Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart take this leftist turn, and how should one read the great American songs that emerged?

John Corrigan, “Religious Toleration in America”

Religious Toleration in America

Americans have long pictured themselves as all but free of religious intolerance and have difficulty coming to terms with the kinds of religious conflict and violence that occur in other parts of the world. In this podcast, host Richard Schramm talks with John Corrigan about America’s often forgotten history of religious intolerance despite our ideals and how that history has been all but lost. Their conversation also offers a preview of an NHC webinar, “Religious Freedom and Religious Intolerance in America,” which took place on Thursday, March 24, 2016.

What Does the Future Hold for the Humanities?

On Tuesday, February 9, NHC president and director Robert Newman joined Lloyd Kramer from UNC-Chapel Hill and Victoria Gallagher from NC State University to discuss the humanities’ future as part of a town hall meeting. The event, held at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC, and moderated by retired philosophy professor Clay Stalnaker, drew an engaged crowd who challenged the participants about role of the humanities in an environment that has become increasingly concerned with financial outcomes from academic activities, technologically-focused, and oriented toward the concerns of the individual rather than the common good.

Janice Radway, “From the Underground to the Archive in Ten Years: Girl Zines, the 1990s, and the Challenge of Historical Narration”


In the early nineties, a certain cohort of dissident, non-conforming girls turned to self-publishing to express their deep dissatisfaction with conservative reaffirmations of normative femininity. Calling themselves “Riot Grrrls” after several influential all-girl punk bands, they crafted handmade publications known as “zines” in order to voice their disaffection and to think through alternative ways of being in the world. These young women quickly caught the attention of the mainstream media and a range of academics and librarians alike. Within ten years, at least three major collections of girl zines had been collected at places like Smith College, Barnard College, and Duke University. This lecture explores the significance of girls’ self-publishing efforts, the complex reasons for their zines’ quick assimilation into legitimate cultural institutions, and the political benefits and drawbacks to this kind of memorialization.