Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This dissertation, a cultural history of interwar and wartime France, investigates the wealth of music dedicated to Jeanne d'Arc during the tumultuous 1930s and 1940s. Jeanne d'Arc's status as an ambivalent symbol of French nationalism allows a novel appraisal of both the music of this period and its larger historical issues: the formation of French national identities, how music is used to convey contradictory political ideologies, and how music participates in both collaboration and resistance during periods of unrest. Relying on extensive archival research, this project investigates an unusually varied cross-section of musical activity in France during the 1930s and 1940s, including masses, symphonic works, musical dramas, oratorios, and radio dramas by such leading composers as Arthur Honegger, Manuel Rosenthal, Paul Paray, Maurice Jaubert, and André Jolivet. During this period, politicians of all stripes were obsessed with the idea that, in order to remain great, France needed to experience profound revitalization: national, cultural, and spiritual. Jeanne's story often acted as the locus of these intertwined narratives of memory, sacrifice, and renewal, and the music dedicated to her frequently referenced musical practices of the past in an effort to solidify what it meant to be French in the present. This dissertation's orientation around a ubiquitous cultural figure thus allows a fresh take on musical production and reception during these turbulent decades.
Chair and Committee
Craig Monson, Dolores Pesce, Julie Singer, Robert Snarrenberg, Leslie Sprout
Dister, Elizabeth, "Inspiring the Nation: French Music about Jeanne d'Arc in the 1930s and 1940s" (2015). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 440.