Joy Calico: March 13, 2014

A Cultural History of Postwar Europe through the Lens of A Survivor from Warsaw

Joy H. Calico, Vanderbilt University

A twelve-tone piece about the Holocaust, written in three languages, by a Jewish émigré turned American citizen who had also been the Nazis’ prime exemplar of musical degeneracy: Arnold Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw seemed designed to irritate every exposed nerve in postwar Europe. Joy Calico traces the performance and reception history of this iconic piece to illuminate discrete national contexts as well as commonalities across the Cold War divide.


Joy H. Calico does interdisciplinary work on Cold-War cultural politics and on opera. She is the author of Arnold Schoenberg’s “A Survivor from Warsaw” in Postwar Europe (California, forthcoming in 2014) and Brecht at the Opera(California, 2008), as well as numerous articles and book chapters, most recently inThe Arts of the Prima Donna in the Long Nineteenth Century (Oxford, 2012) and Eisler-Studien 5 (Breitkopf & Härtel, 2013).

Her research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Academy in Berlin, the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, the DAAD, the Howard Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Calico serves on the editorial boards of Journal of the American Musicological Society and Brecht Yearbook/Brecht Jahrbuch.  She is co-founder and coordinator, with David Imhoof, of the Music and Sound Studies Network of the German Studies Association (GSA), and will serve on the GSA Executive Board beginning in 2014.


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