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UNC Music Research Forum

September 29 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Navy, light blue, and white triangles in a varied pattern. Navy text on a white rectangle reads: UNC Music Research Forum, 2023-2024 Series"

Anna Gatdula“Desert Specters: Haunting Myths of the Spectacular Bomb in Opera and Film” presented by Assistant Professor Dr. Anna B. Gatdula

Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer (2023) and Peter Sellars and John Adams’ Doctor Atomic (2005/2018) are spectacles that produce and reproduce narratives of the United States’ position as a global superpower. These spectacular depictions of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the genesis of the US nuclear weapons complex hail specific spectators. My work attends to the different media affordances of each form in order to trace the contours of sublimation—how we aestheticize through spectacle and ultimately reify the ideologies structuring the nuclear complex.

The UNC Music Research Forum hosts invited lectures by distinguished music scholars from around the world and informal research presentations by members of our department and colleagues across campus. It serves as an intellectual hub for the department and is open to all. The Forum is held on the final Friday of each month during the semester from 2-4 p.m. in Person Recital Hall.


September 29
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Person Hall
181 E Cameron Ave
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States
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