Billie Holiday Anthology

deadline for submissions: 
February 20, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University




BILLIE 101: A Hundred and One Years of Lady Day, seeks abstracts for book chapters dedicated to the life, work and art of Eleanora Fagan, iconically known as (among other personae) Billie “Lady Day” Holiday. BILLIE 101 will speak to both scholarly and popular audiences. The anthology will include three sections: Performance (Vocal or Otherwise), History / Legacy (Will the Real Billie Please Stand Up), and Interpretations (film, print, and other media, social or otherwise). We encourage scholars, memoirists, and popular culture commentators willing to play with the image, the sound, and/or the history that continues to inspire the iconography of Lady Day. Chapters should make an argument about Billie’s songbook, historiography, or her fabulously mythical iterations. Chapters can also reflect the spirit of the jazz age, using improvisation to analyze how  Billie was perceived, and how she continues to set an unequaled standard in the history of the recorded voice. Interested potential authors should submit a 350-word abstract by February 20th to Jessica McKee and Michael Perez at


Some possible questions to consider:


1) What significant criteria define Holiday ’s legacy, and how does that comment on, or contribute to, our understanding of jazz, music, and/or American iconography?


2) How has Holiday ’s legacy evolved, and how does that evolution comment on what we think about women, African-American or otherwise, and what criteria seems to be most recognizable therein? What criteria is overplayed? What criteria is under-examined or underplayed?


3) How her legacy being fulfilled currently? In what mediums/genres/aesthetic realms?


4) What are the most significant Holiday performances and how do they arguably form a canon? (musical or media)


5)  What is new to the canon of Billie Holiday performances and/or legacy?


6) What elements repeat throughout iterations of Holiday on film? or on “record”?


7) What current media iterations of Holiday have made it into the digital realm?


8) How has Holiday been culturally appropriated (image, “history”, “biography”, popular American Songbook)?


9) What is unique about Holiday ’s performance of the Great American Songbook as opposed to, say, Ella Fitzgerald’s or Sarah Vaughan’s (or Rosemary Clooney’s)?


10) How does Billie’s performances extend or foster the blues tradition?


11) In what ways does Billie critique society? How can we hear covert messages or political undertones embedded in her songs?