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Invited Speakers

Kern Conference 2018 – Design, Sound and Vision in Midcentury Media

Invited Speakers

Greg Barnhisel

Greg Barnhisel is Professor and Chair of the English department at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author of Cold War Modernists: Arts, Literature, and American Cultural Diplomacy, for which he received a research fellowship from National Endowment for the Humanities. His previous books include James Laughlin, New Directions, and the Remaking of Ezra Pound and, with Catherine Turner, Pressing the Fight: Print, Propaganda, and the Cold War.

Michael Brown

Michael Brown is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Rochester Institute of Technology. His Ph.D.  is from the University of Rochester. He specializes in American intellectual and cultural history, public history, Rochester history, and social and political thought.

John Covach

John Covach received his B.Mus., M.Mus. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan. He has published dozens of articles on topics dealing with popular music, twelve-tone music, and the philosophy and aesthetics of music. He co-edited Understanding Rock (Oxford, 1997), American Rock and the Classical Tradition (Harwood, 2000), and Traditions, Institutions, and American Popular Music (Harwood, 2000). His textbook, What’s That Sound? An Introduction to Rock Music, was published by W.W. Norton & Co. Covach currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Cambridge University Press journal, Twentieth Century Music, and is a General Editor of Tracking Pop, a monograph series devoted to topics in popular music to be published by the University of Michigan Press. As a guitarist, Professor Covach has performed throughout the United States and Europe. He remains active as a member of the progressive-rock band, Land of Chocolate, as well as with various other projects.

Keir Keightley

Keir Keightley is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information & Media Studies at Western University in Canada. He teaches a range of undergraduate and graduate courses that explore scholarly traditions from media studies, popular music studies, film studies, gender studies, cultural history, sound studies, the sociology of taste and cultural studies. His objects of research include the music industries, audio technologies, media stardom, Cold War masculinities, the history of musical authenticity, the globalization of Brazilian bossa nova, the new media of the Progressive Era, Hollywood, Tin Pan Alley, and early television. His work has appeared in journals that include Media Culture and Society, Modernism/modernity, Popular Music, American Music and the Journal of Popular Music Studies; in edited collections such as Movie Music: The Film Reader, Popular Music: Technology and Copyright, Migrating Music, and The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock; and it has been translated into French, Spanish, Hungarian, Korean, and Chinese. He is currently working on a book about early critiques of mass culture, to be entitled Tin Pan Allegory: Music, Media, Modernity.

Kristin L. Matthews

Kristin L. Matthews is Associate Professor of English at Brigham Young University. She teaches courses in American literature and culture. She specializes in twentieth-century literature and culture, particularly Cold War fiction and film. Her sub-specialty is 20th-century African-American literature. She employs an American Studies methodology in her research and teaching, putting literature into conversation with a range of political, historical, sociological, and popular texts in order to best examine American letters and life. Professor Matthews received her BA in English from Brigham Young University in 1995 and her Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004. Her work has appeared in American Studies, Arizona Quarterly, Modern Drama, Journal of American Culture, Journal of Popular Culture, and CEA: Critic (among other journals). She has received the American Studies Professor of the Year Award (2007), the English Department Teaching Award (2008), an Albert J. Colton Fellowship from the Utah Humanities Council (2010), the Faculty Women’s Association Teaching Award (2012), and an Alcuin Fellowship from Brigham Young University (2012). When not at work, Professor Matthews can be found reading a book, cheering on the Green Bay Packers (she’s part owner), hiking in the mountains, playing the piano, or singing with her jazz combo.

Monica Penick

Monica Penick is an Assistant Professor of Design Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Tastemaker: Elizabeth Gordon, House Beautiful and the Postwar American Home (Yale University Press, 2017), which champions an often-neglected source—the consumer magazine—as a key tool for deepening our understanding of mid-century architecture and design. She has a B.A. in Classical Studies from Stanford University, an M.S. in Historic Preservation and a Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin.

Tom Perchard

Tom Perchard is Reader in Music in the Department of Music at Goldsmiths, University of London. His teaching and research centres on the history and historiography of jazz and popular music. His first book, the widely acclaimed Lee Morgan: His Life, Music and Culture (Equinox, 2006), was the first study of that important mid-century jazz musician. An edited anthology, From Soul to Hip Hop, was published in 2014 as part of Ashgate’s Library of Essays on Popular Music series, and a second monograph, After Django: Making Jazz in Postwar France, is published in 2015 by the University of Michigan Press. Tom’s research articles appear in American Music, Popular Music, Jazz Perspectives, Popular Music and Society, the Journal of the Society for American Music and Popular Music History. Tom gained his PhD at Goldsmiths in 2005, and taught at the University of Westminster before returning to take up his current post in 2008. With Professor Keith Negus, he is co-director of the Popular Music Research Unit.

R. Roger Remington

R. Roger Remington is the Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design and Director of the Vignelli Center for Design Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, New York. As a teacher/scholar his critical interests are in graphic design history, research and writing. His deep commitment to design history and preservation has led him to bring the archives of designers of the American Modernist generation to RIT and more recently, in 2010, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Vignelli Center for Design Studies, which houses the career archive of designers Massimo and Lella Vignelli and other designers. He has written four books on designers and design history with two new books on Will Burtin to be published in 2017.

Penny M. Von Eschen

Penny M. Von Eschen is the L. Sanford and Jo Mills Reis Professor of Humanities at Cornell University. My scholarship is engaged with the history of the United States in global and transnational dimensions and has sought to broaden the archive for historians of U.S. foreign relations. It has focused on the projects and subjectivities of critics, activists, and artists as well as including official multi-national state archives (and their internal debates) and the role of literature, popular culture, and mass media representations as a broader public and cultural arena for the making of foreign policy. My first book, Race against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 1937-1957, Cornell University Press, 1997, explored the interactions of African American anticolonial intellectuals, journalists, and activists with a broader and dynamic anticolonial world in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Race Against Empire examined the stakes and far-reaching consequences of these projects' collisions with the U.S. and apartheid governments and European colonialism in the early Cold War. My second book, Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War, published by Harvard University Press in 2004, explored the unexpected and diverse developments and alliances that emerged from State Department sponsored jazz tours, as the U.S. officials were not always able to control the reception of the tours. The jazz tours often targeted strategically critical regions for the United States in the Cold War, resulting sometimes in locations in close proximity to coups and assassinations including those in Iran, Iraq, and southern Africa. Satchmo foregrounds the subjectivities of the many actors in the tours - musicians, State Department personnel, journalists, and jazz impresarios - while exploring the interplay of culture and geopolitics. I am currently writing a book called Cold War Nostalgia: The Wages of Memory in the post- 1989 World, under contract with Harvard University Press.