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Student Discovery Stories: Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Just Sing

Thu May 06, 2021 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Hearst Museum of Anthropology
Click here to register for this event The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology aims to host events and programs that work toward preserving stories today so that new connections can be made tomorrow. This program is the first in a new series of interviews of undergraduate students, by undergraduate students, who have conducted independent research on people, community, culture, or connection. Emma Silver, a UC Berkeley senior and researcher, will be interviewed by Andrew Sengkhamyong, an undergraduate research apprentice Hearst Museum. This event is hosted alongside our online exhibit, Empowering Engaged Thinkers: Student Discovery Stories from the Hearst Museum. Research Focus Americans have harbored a long and intimate obsession with World War II, from its occurrence all the way to the present day. Though the country altering event has reasonably been said to merit its amount of sustained attention, the question remains why Americans have repeatedly taken to Broadway to parse out their feelings on the subject. Emma's project aims to highlight how musical theater has acted as a vehicle for Americans to engage in a communal processing of the events of World War II. This processing is achieved primarily through a progression of queer G.I. performance and other generalized sexual anxieties that serve to reflect the changing values and focuses within American culture. To support this assertion, she analyzes three Broadway musicals that are narratively anchored in World War II: This is the Army (1942), South Pacific (1949), and Bandstand (2017). In chronological order, each presents a vital look into Americans’ attempts to project and process their feelings about World War II at different time periods: during the all encompassing patriotism of the war, within the repression of the postwar era, and finally in the increasing social tolerance of the modern day. About the Speaker Emma Silver is a second semester senior, with a double major in Political Science and American Studies. As a queer woman herself, an avid World War II buff, and musical theater fan, she found a way to combine these three facets of her life into a singular senior honors thesis. Click here to register for this event