Madonna, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox, Britney Spears, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey—what is a diva, after all?  What are its origins, if locatable, and how has the term evolved and developed musically, temporally, and culturally?

The Divas Reading Group meets weekly to investigate pop divahood as a textual, musical, visual, and cultural phenomenon.  The group’s ‘readings’ include critical texts, lyrical content, music videos, live performances, interviews, photographs, magazine/blog articles, social media, and music television specials. Through this blend of scholarship and popular media, the group examines different modes of vocality, textuality, pleasure, identity, sexuality, performance/performativity, (dis)embodiment, divinity, obsession, mesmerism, poetics, and aesthetics.

In spring 2012, participants will contribute writings and/or help edit/curate a journal and potential installation which will explore these many aspects of Diva culture.

Limited spaces; open to students, staff, and faculty.  To apply, email hhc@haverford.edu by Sunday, October 23rd, with your name, department, class year if applicable, and a brief paragraph explaining your interest in the seminar, past relevant experiences, and diva who fascinates you (and why).  Full group description and syllabus available at haverford.edu/divas

Questions: hsilverb@haverford.edu

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