As yet another enthusiastic member of our eclectic CURI team, I am eager to get started mapping musical geography! The final product of our project, an interactive map to contextualize the music scene of 1924 Paris, will be used as a teaching tool and research aid, and it’ll be fascinating to watch the map grow and evolve.
The skills I bring to the team, like those of my team members, are varied—my interest is high but I have much to learn! I’m no expert in 1920’s Paris but dabble in some of the right fields: I’m an amateur musician and music history enthusiast who is also interested in French history and hoping to improve my (very spotty) French language skills. I look forward to bringing bits and pieces of my knowledge to help our team, but even more, to learning from my team members’ various interests and areas of expertise.
As an English literature major focusing on late 19th and early 20th century writers, I am most deeply interested in using our map and research to draw connections to the greater art scene of the post-WWI era. I want to compare, for example, what was happening in the salons and bookshops of Gertrude Stein and Sylvia Beach with the social experience of going to the opera, or the minimalist and visceral writings of Hemingway with the dissonance and boldness in the music of Stravinsky. I’m also curious about the role of British expat writers in Paris and, if possible, would like to develop a paper on that.
History, music, and literature have the amazing power to take us to remarkable places even when we can’t leave our desks, and I hope our map will transport users not only mentally but also visually to the vibrant world of 1924 Paris. I can’t wait to get to work.