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Epilogue

Why (What, How, If ) opera studies?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2011

Herbert Lindenberger
Affiliation:
Stanford University, California
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Summary

Why (What, How, If) opera studies?

interlocutor: Your title alone portrays you on the defensive. Why all those questions? If it's a new field you're seeking to institute, your hesitancy is not likely to win converts.

author: Don't get me wrong. I don't want to persuade anybody to institute still another field, of which the modern university boasts more than it needs. I just want to deal with the practical institutional problems we face studying a phenomenon such as opera, which, as it happens, straddles a number of distinct fields.

interlocutor: But the moment I hear the term studies attached to an area, I sense a political agenda guiding you: think of those other fields that have imposed themselves on universities in recent years: feminist studies, Afro-American studies, Chicano studies, gay and lesbian studies, disability studies, animality studies and any number of others that, in the future, will be seeking a place in the academic sun.

author: So everything calling itself studies has to be politically motivated? What about film studies? Surely this would be the appropriate analogy to opera studies. Like film studies, opera studies is dedicated to the understanding of a particular genre or, more properly, a medium. Except, of course, that opera encompasses four times as many years of history and impinges on a larger number of other disciplines: musicology, obviously, but also theater history, art history, and every one of the literature fields in those countries where opera has thrived.

Type
Chapter
Information
Situating Opera
Period, Genre, Reception
, pp. 263 - 279
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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  • Epilogue
  • Herbert Lindenberger, Stanford University, California
  • Book: Situating Opera
  • Online publication: 05 August 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511667541.011
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  • Epilogue
  • Herbert Lindenberger, Stanford University, California
  • Book: Situating Opera
  • Online publication: 05 August 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511667541.011
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Epilogue
  • Herbert Lindenberger, Stanford University, California
  • Book: Situating Opera
  • Online publication: 05 August 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511667541.011
Available formats
×