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