Jazz Literature from the 1950s: Papers in Honor of Ann and Samuel Charters (Panel)

full name / name of organization: 
James J. Donahue / SUNY Potsdam
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60 years ago, the literary and musical landscapes were forever altered by several landmark works in music and literature. With "Pithecanthropus Erectus," Charles Mingus eschewed written arrangements in lieu of having his band mates learn the compositions by ear; on "Brilliant Corners," Thelonius Monk gave the world his arguably most complex composition; and "Saxophone Colossus" is widely regarded as Sonny Rollins's masterpiece. Similarly, 1956 witnessed the publication of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl and Other Poems," a landmark work with far-reaching aesthetic, political, and social implications; in a related vein, Jack Kerouac composed "Visions of Gerard," arguably his most personal and linguistically-complicated novel. With their development of "Bop Prosody" and their interest in pushing the boundaries of the literary performance and aesthetic experience, the Beat writers famously borrowed from the jazz musicians whose explorations challenged conventional ideas of composition and performance, as well as melody and harmony. These writers and their early works can be productively read alongside the music they were enthralled by. In honor of Beat scholar and UConn professor of literature Ann Charters and her husband, music scholar and producer Samuel, this panel explores the connections between the literary and musical worlds as they came together in the diverse cultural crucible of the 1950's. In particular, the papers on this panel will allude to the artistic achievements of 1956 and their continued influence and impact 60 years later.

Please submit abstracts directly to NeMLA: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/15622

Submission deadline is September 30.