Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

The Fall 2021 Residential College Robertson Memorial Lecture

"Writing Opera, Singing Blackness" with Naomi André
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
4:00-5:30 PM
The University of Michigan Residential College Fall 2021 RC Robertson Memorial Lecture will be given by Naomi André, Professor in the RC Arts & Ideas in the Humanities Program, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies.

Talk Title:
Writing Opera, Singing Blackness

Elitist associations are strong in the genre of opera; they can even be painful and offensive. In this talk Naomi André will outline the complications around representations of Blackness in opera and then explore how the opera stage has become a space for Black narratives and social justice in operas from the 19th-century up through a golden age of Black operas that we are experiencing now.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021
4-5pm, with time for questions and answers until 5:30pm
Register to attend at

About Naomi

Naomi André is Professor in Women’s Studies, the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, and the Residential College Arts and Ideas in the Humanities program at the University of Michigan. She received her BA in music from Barnard College and MA and PhD in musicology from Harvard University. Her research focuses on opera and issues surrounding gender, voice, and race. Her publications include topics on Italian opera, Schoenberg, women composers, and teaching opera in prisons. Her books, Voicing Gender: Castrati, Travesti, and the Second Woman in Early Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera (2006) and Blackness in Opera (2012, edited collection) focus on opera from the nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries and explore constructions of gender, race and identity. She published Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement with University of Illinois Press in 2018, a monograph on staging race and history in opera today in the United States and South Africa. She has served on the Graduate Alumni Council for Harvard University’s Graduate School of Art and Sciences, the Executive Committee for the Criminal Justice Program at the American Friends Service Committee (Ann Arbor, MI), and has served as an evaluator for the Fulbright Senior Specialist Program.

In 2019, Naomi was named the inaugural Scholar in Residence at the Seattle Opera and in 2020, she joined with scholars around the world to co-found the Black Opera Research Network to explore the relationship between opera and race. Naomi co-edited a 2021 collection of essays titled African Performance Arts and Political Acts that is due to be released shortly before this lecture by University of Michigan Press.

The U-M Residential College Robertson Memorial Lecture is made possible by a gift honoring Professor James H. and Jean B. Robertson, the first Dean of the Residential College and his wife.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: african and afroamerican studies, Art, artists, arts at michigan, Residential College
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Residential College, The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Department for Afroamerican and African Studies, Women's and Gender Studies Department