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Performing Commemoration: Musical Reenactment and the Politics of Trauma

March 31, 2017 @ 7:30 am - April 2, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

defiant requiem header
At the heart of this project lies the question: What is it to perform commemoration? Many musicologists and ethnomusicologists over the past few decades have attended to the performative dimension of commemorative activity—through such critical lenses as national and transnational cultures, the transfer of social memory, and the relation between individual and collective expression in music. In this conference, we ask what it is to think of commemoration as a performed mode of remembrance, and how the commemorative mode serves the ends of socialization and public power. We convene a conference to discuss the role of music in the performance of commemoration, in order to understand how diverse states, governments, organizations, communities, and individuals across the globe deploy the specter of trauma for public, private, or political ends. By so doing, we aim to trace out theoretical territory for performance in the study of memory, reenactment, and commemoration.

Conference Program

March 31: William S. Newman Series concert: “Performing Commemoration,” featuring music from the two World Wars; 7:30–9:00pm, Person Recital Hall, $10/$5 students.

April 1–April 2: Conference, “Performing Commemoration: Musical Reenactment and the Politics of Trauma” (keynote: Vanessa Agnew, University of Duisburg-Essen)

April 2: Talking Music series concert, featuring original compositions by Allen Anderson, Stefan Litwin, and Janice Misurell-Mitchell; 2:30–4:00pm, Person Recital Hall, free and open to the public.

For more information, visit performingcommemoration.unc.edu.

(Similar events include a screening of The Defiant Requiem documentary on Feb. 23 and a performance at Memorial Hall on April 20.)


March 31, 2017 @ 7:30 am
April 2, 2017 @ 9:00 pm
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Person Recital Hall
181 E. Cameron Ave
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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