April 19, 1999 – Annette Richards: “Clouds, Blots and the Lesbian Tragelaph: CPE Bach’s Performed Fantasy”

Monday, April 19 | 4:30 pm | Kresge 159

Richards is a musicologist and performer who works on 18th and early 19th- century music aesthetics and criticism. She focuses on the intersections between musical performance (music as sound and spectacle) and composition (music as text) in late 18th-century culture and is currently completing a study of notions of musical fantasy in the period, entitled Fantastical Landscapes: The Free Fantasia and Theories of the Musical Picturesque for Cambridge University Press. Working with both visual and musical source materials, this book seeks to reconfigure the fantasia’s disrupted and fragmentary nature within the contemporary aesthetic of the picturesque, considering especially issues of indeterminacy, ephemerality, and improvisation’s escape from memory. Richards is especially interested in late 18th-century listening practices, brought new urgency by the increasingly complex interplay of return, recognition and recollection in instrumental music (music divorced from verbal text) towards the end of the century. She is co-editor with Mark Franko of Acting on the Past: Historical Performance Studies across the Disciplines, forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press. Annette Richards was the Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center in 1993-94, and a Fellow at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities in 1994-95. This year (1998-99) she is a Fellow at the Cornell Society for the Humanities.

This talk is presented as part of the Visual and Performative Studies Speaker Series, which explores issues in performativity. The series is coordinated by Catherine Soussloff (Art History, UC Santa Cruz) and Mark Franko (Theater Arts, UC Santa Cruz), and co-sponsored by the Art Division, the departments of Art History and Theater Arts, and the Center for Cultural Studies.