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May 30 2019

Distinguished Lecture Series: Musicologist Gillian Rodger

Gillian-Rodger - Just One of the Boys Book CoverGillian-Rodger - Just One of the Boys Book Cover
Room 1440

Gillian Rodger’s on-going research interests cluster around popular musical theater of nineteenth-century America and working-class popular culture. She is exploring the early history of variety theater (the form that preceded vaudeville) and its connections to other musical theater forms including minstrelsy and burlesque. In a recently published article in the journal American Music, she examines theater law in New York State, showing how variety theaters were run, and, indeed, how what could appear on their stages was shaped to a large extent by changes to theater law and the threat of police raids. Her article, “’He isn’t a marrying man’: Gender and Sexuality in the Repertoire of Male Impersonators, 1870-1920,” reveals that until the 1890s or later, female-to-male cross-dressed performances were intended to subvert class rather than gender or sexuality. Rodger’s work on popular culture extends to the present, and a forthcoming essay in Popular Music examines the performance strategy employed by the Scottish singer Annie Lennox, arguing that this performer employs tactics not unlike those of nineteenth-century character singers in her approach to music, and through this performance provides an on-going and cutting critique of gender. Rodger is assistant professor of musicology and ethnomusicology at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The Distinguished Lecture Series is presented by the Department of Musicology and programmed by the Musicology Graduate Student Society. 

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This event is FREE! No RSVP required. Early arrival is recommended.


Self-service parking is available at UCLA’s Parking Structure #2 for events in Schoenberg Music Building and the Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center. Costs range from $1 for 20 minutes to $20 all day. Learn more about campus parking.


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is eager to provide a variety of accommodations and services for access and communications. If you would like to request accommodations, please do so 10 days in advance of the event by emailing ADA@schoolofmusic.ucla.edu or calling (310) 825-0174.


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Food and drink may not be carried into the theaters. Thank you!