Anthem Event


Afternoon Session
3:30pm-5:30pm, SMB 1420

“Race and the Cultural Politics of Nationalism in the 19th Century”, Cecilia O’Leary (CSUMB History and Communication)

“’I, Too, Sing America’: Jimi Hendrix’s Anthems”, Robert Fink (UCLA Musicology)

“Marvin Gaye: Groovin’ Defiance, Black Subjectivity and 1980’s Socio-Political Culture”, Wade Dean (UCLA Musicology)

“Sports and Activism in a Social Media World: What is the role of media in covering the likes of Colin Kaepernick and protest in 2017?”, Jason Jones (Sacramento Bee)


Evening Performances and Panel Discussion
7:30pm-9:15pm, Schoenberg Hall

Featuring a performance of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing/The Star Spangled Banner” by Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Rene Marie

Panelists: René Marie, Robin D.G. Kelley (UCLA History), Shana L. Redmond (UCLA Musicology), Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

This symposium takes a critical view of 2016 through a controversial song that announced a cultural turn toward a Trump presidency: “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The dichotomies announced by national anthems do not end with the composition but are always reheard and further entrenched with each performance. As 2016 demonstrated around the world, anthems are also weaponized in service of identifying those who belong and those who do not. Yet resistance to the racial and national common sense of the U.S. anthem continues, in large part thanks to Black performers and celebrities who use the song as an opportunity for dissent. Our task will be to historicize this formation, discuss its ongoing presence and urgency, and imagine alternatives.

Hosted by the UCLA Center for Musical Humanities, and sponsored by the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, UCLA Department of Musicology, UCLA School of Arts and Architecture, UCLA Theater Film and Television, UCLA Department of History, UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology, Critical Race Studies Program – UCLA School of Law, UCLA African American Studies, UCLA Department of Music