Syllabus

Week 1: Introduction to Diva Studies

“The Tongue, My Diva” [Poem]
Jill Gonet
New England Review (1990-), Vol. 19, No. 3 (Summer, 1998), p. 70

“Transmogrification of the Diva” [Poem]
Fred Chappell
The Sewanee Review, Vol. 85, No. 3 (Summer, 1977), p. 455

Diva Studies: A Verse Play: An Excerpt
Elizabeth Alexander
Callaloo, Vol. 19, No. 2, Emerging Women Writers: A Special Issue (Spring, 1996), pp. 474-492

“On Meaninglessness”
Joanna Demers
Journal of Popular Music Studies, Volume 23, Issue 2, pages 195–199, June 2011

Music and Society: The politics of composition, performance, and reception
Richard Leppert and Susan McClary
Cambridge University Press: New York, 1992
“Towards an Aesthetic of Popular Music”, Simon Frith (20 pages, 6 copies at $0.10/page = $12.00)

“Telephone” [Music Video]
Jonas Akerlund; Lady Gaga, Beyonce

Totally Diva [DVD]
Directed by Sophie Muller
Starring Annie Lennox
$14.05

Week 2: Pop, Text, Video

Music of the Sirens
Linda Phyllis Austern and Inna Naroditskaya
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006

“The Navel, the Corporate, the Contradictory: Pop Sirens at the Twenty-first Century” by Thomasin LaMay and Robin Armstrong

“Music Video and the Construction of Gendered Subjectivity (Or How Being a Music Video Junkie Turned Me into a Feminist)”
Jennifer M. Hurley in Popular Music

“The Aesthetics of Music Video: An Analysis of Madonna’s Cherish”
Carol Vernallis in Film and Video

“Cherish” [Madonna video]
“Born This Way” [Lady Gaga video]
“Money Can’t Buy It” [Annie Lennox video]

Week 3: Sex, Gender, Queerness

Bodies that Matter: on the discursive limits of ‘sex’
Judith Butler
New York; London: Routledge, 1993.
We will read all of ‘Part One’

Sex
Madonna, Glenn O’Brien, and Steven Meisel (Nov 1992)
(On reserve in Magill Library)

The Diva’s Mouth
Susan Leonardi and Rebecca A. Pope
New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers Press, 1996
“Express Yourselves: Divas Pop and Pomo”

“Madonna – Finally, a Real Feminist”
Camille Paglia in the New York Times

Interview with Camille Paglia
Playboy, 1995

“Like a Virgin” [Madonna video]
“Justify My Love” [Madonna video]
“If Eye Wuz Ur Girlfriend” [Prince song]

Guest speaker on disco divas

Week 4: Performance I

“Performance and the Postmodern in Pop Music”
Tony Mitchell in Theatre Journal

Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture
Philip Auslander
London; New York: Routledge, 1999.
Chapter 2: “Live performance in a mediatized culture”

Selected Scenes from Madonna [DVD]: the girlie show: live down under
Music Tours Inc.; entire production directed & designed by Christopher Ciccone; producer, Marty Callner ; video director, Mark “Aldo” Miceli (SC McCabe.. will put on Reserve in Magill)

Paris is Burning [DVD]
Jennie Livingston

Selections from the VMAs
Various performances by Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Madonna, Britney Spears

Selections from Divas Live (looking at the self-conscious performance of diva-hood — Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Carole King, etc.)

“Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” [live video]
From Cher Extravaganza
Live at de Mirage

Week 5: Performance II

M/Butterfly
David Hwang
New York: New American Library, 1989

Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (several selections)
Judith Butler
New York; London: Routledge

Selections from Divas Live (looking at the self-conscious performance of diva-hood — Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Shania Twain, Tina Turner, etc.)

Clips from David Lynch’s Blue Velvet
“Club Silencio”
Rosselini’s performances of “Blue Velvet”
(Entire film recommended)

Music of the Sirens
Linda Phyllis Austern and Inna Naroditskaya
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006
“The Cocktail Siren in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet”, Jeongwon Joe

Week 6: Fantasy, Magic, Myth

“Fantasy” [Mariah Carey video feat. Ol’ Dirty Bastard]
“Dreamlover” [Mariah Carey music video]
“You and I” [Lady Gaga video]
“Underneath the Stars” [Mariah Carey sound recording, from Daydream]
“Moment 4 Life” [Nicki Minaj video]

The Odyssey
Book IV
Homer
Translated by Robert Fagles

Music of the Sirens
Linda Phyllis Austern and Inna Naroditskaya
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006
“‘Longindyingcall’: Of Music, Modernity, and the Sirens”, Lawrence Kramer

Sex
Madonna, Glenn O’Brien, and Steven Meisel (Nov 1992)

Madonna as Postmodern Myth: how one star’s self-construction rewrites sex, gender, Hollywood, and the American Dream
Georges-Claude Guilbert
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., c2002

Fame: what the classics tell us about our cult of celebrity
Tom Payne
New York : Picador, 2010
“Divas and Divinities: Are Celebrities (Anything) Like Gods?”

Optional films/sound recordings:

Voodoo kingdom [DVD]
Produced by Dolphin Productions
Directed by Maria Toshi Matsushita
Script by Toshi Matsushita

Voices of the gods [DVD]
Producer/director: Alfred Santana
An Akuaba Production

Rhythms of rapture [sound recording] : [sacred musics [sic] of Haitian vodou]

Week 7: Fame (Kleos; Obsession; Diva Worship; Power)

The Fame, Lady Gaga [sound recording]
The Fame Monster, Lady Gaga [sound recording]
“Paparazzi” [Lady Gaga video]
“Diva” [Beyonce video]
“Lucky” [Britney Spears video]
“Live to Tell” [Madonna video]
“Obsessed” [Mariah Carey video]
“MTV VMA Press – Lady Gaga (As Jo Calderone)”

Totally Diva – Annie Lennox [DVD] (again)
Directed by Sophie Muller
Starring Annie Lennox

Fame: what the classics tell us about our cult of celebrity
Tom Payne
New York : Picador, 2010
“Sympathy for the Devil: Have Geniuses More Often Than Not Sold Their Souls?”
“Temporary Like Achilles: Why Do We Reject Our Heroes?”
“I Want to Be Like You-hoo-hoo: Why Do Famous People Influence Us?”

Week 8: Divas on their Divahood (“A diva is a female version of a hustler”: or, not)

[How divas discuss their status as divas, how they describe divahood, and to what extent this is informative/useful vs. incomplete/skewed...]

Digital Divas & Online Identities; Divas & Technology: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Various Interviews with Beyonce, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears [still TBD]

“Gagavision” Series [youtube]

Behind the Music – Lady Gaga

Behind the Music – Madonna

“The Diva Interviews” – Annie Lennox

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