Remembering and performing the ideal campus : the sound cultures of interwar American universities

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Title: Remembering and performing the ideal campus : the sound cultures of interwar American universities
Author: Schafer, Kimberly Ann
Abstract: In this dissertation , I examine extracurricular music of American universities between the two World Wars and consider it as an indicator of the idealization of collegiate life . Interwar discourse at American universities demonstrated the two contrasting ideals of the older collegiate model and the more recent university model . The collegiate model was associated with ideals related to character building , a sense of community , and a common curriculum , whereas the university model was associated with social utility , research , and liberal culture . Proponents of the collegiate model idealized an older collegiate life in America . One version of this idealized collegiate life captured the popular imagination of Americans in the late nineteenth century – the vision of students developing their social skills in the extracurriculum at the expense of their intellect in the official curriculum . Various members of the university community at Stanford University , The University of Texas , and Yale University promoted this idyllic view of collegiate life in the extracurriculum . Marching bands , glee clubs , and bell instruments were thought to transmit collegiate values of community and character building . The music’s adaptation to modern trends and values , however , reveal that it did not fully adhere to an idealized image of pre -modern college life . The university communities believed that music (and sound in general ) with its ability to reach listeners’ memories and emotions , was unique in its access to interior subjectivity . This belief guided university administrators to use campus sounds to instill school spirit and nostalgia . Yet the failure of certain audio memorabilia , namely the Talking Page of the Onondagan yearbook of Syracuse University and The Cactus in Sound of The University of Texas , leads us to question this assumption of special interior access . Administrators , students , and alumni all had a hand in using sounds to elicit these strong sentiments toward their university , which administrators hoped would foster increased financial support
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -08 -1821
Date: 2010-12-14

Citation

Remembering and performing the ideal campus : the sound cultures of interwar American universities. Doctoral dissertation, University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -08 -1821 .

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