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Performing the Liberal Script: Audiovisual Arts and the Aesthetics of Self-Determination

Principal Investigator:
Research focus:
Apr 01, 2019 — Dec 31, 2019

This research project takes a look at the audiovisual and aesthetic components of the liberal script, particularly as they appear in classical music and other forms of artistic expression. The premise is that while the liberal script has yielded positive results, it has failed in selling its accomplishments by way of emotional attraction, aesthetic vision and artistic inspiration.

As such, the project identifies ways, means, and actors that define and challenge the liberal script and its experience in the post-WWII era via non-verbal means and at the emotional level. In short, the project seeks to create a conceptual outline of three post-war developments:

1. The popularization of the audiovisual arts 2. The rise of and challenge of the global human rights discourse; 3. The resultant disregard, opposition to and suppression of that discourse.

Toward this goal, for example, will be the examination of music and the arts as sites of both presentations of and contestations of the liberal script. The songbook of classical music, for instance, features a long list of names and cases testifying to human rights.