Joan Titus, 2023–24 | National Humanities Center

Joan Titus (NHC Fellow, 2023–24)

Project Title

Dmitry Shostakovich and Music for Thaw-Era Cinema

Kent R. Mullikin Fellowship, 2023–24

Professor of Musicology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Joan Titus researches the intersections between nation, gender, and ethnicity in music and audiovisual media. Her recent projects include postfeminist framing of nation and gender in US cinema and music; Soviet Russian modernism, postmodernism, and socialist realism in music and cinema cultures; liminality in global audiovisual histories, particularly in music and cinema; and a book trilogy on the cultural politics of Dmitry Shostakovich’s film scoring career in the Soviet Union from 1928 to 1971. The first two books of the Shostakovich trilogy—The Early Film Music of Dmitry Shostakovich (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Dmitry Shostakovich and Music for Stalinist Cinema (Oxford University Press, in press) provide examinations of the composer’s navigation of modernism, socialist realism, and Soviet filmmaking as Russia’s first film composer. During her tenure at the National Humanities Center, Titus is drafting the final book of the trilogy, titled Dmitry Shostakovich and Music for Thaw-Era Cinema, which provides a socio-cultural history and musical-cinematic analysis of Shostakovich’s last film scores from 1953 to 1971.

Selected Publications

The Early Film Music of Dmitry Shostakovich

  • Titus, Joan. Dmitry Shostakovich and Music for Stalinist Cinema. New York: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming.
  • Titus, Joan. “Shostakovich, Arnshtam, and the Women’s Soviet War Film.” In Music, Authorship, Narration and Art Cinema in Europe: 1940s to 1980s, edited by Michael Baumgartner, and Ewelina Boczkowska, 115–34. New York: Routledge Press, 2022.
  • Titus, Joan. “A Tale of Two Cinemas: Zashchitniki (Guardians, 2017) and Music for the New Russian Superhero Film.” In Music in Action Film: Sounds Like Action!, edited by James Buhler, and Mark Durrand, 181–200. New York: Routledge Press, 2020.
  • Titus, Joan. The Early Film Music of Dmitry Shostakovich. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Titus, Joan. “Silents, Sound, and Modernism in Dmitry Shostakovich’s Score to the New Babylon (1928–1929).” In Sound, Speech, and Music in Soviet and Post-Soviet Cinema, edited by Lilya Kaganovsky, and Masha Salazkina, 38–59. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014.
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