The Origins of America’s Cultural Soft Power and What It Means for the Twenty-First Century

January 08, 2012
Sunday, 1 p.m.
The Strand Theatre, Rockland
Camden Conference Lecture by Roger Dell
For the third consecutive year, the Farnsworth will participate in the Camden Conference Community Events, which lead up to the February Conference, The United States in the Twenty-First Century: Do We Have What It Takes?. Farnsworth Director of Education Roger Dell will deliver an illustrated lecture organized in two parts, presenting the beginnings of American mass culture and its pervasive transatlantic influence. The first half of the talk will focus on the years between the Civil War and the First World War, when large-scale American cultural entities, such as the early moving picture industry, circuses, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and the 1892-93 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, became immensely popular in the states and were soon making an enormous impact on Europe.
The second half of the lecture will focus on the years between the World Wars and the growth and exportation of America’s brand of modernism. Often beginning in European capitals, modernist movements in painting, architecture, photography, film and music were reworked by American artists, composers, musicians and novelists – often mixing high and low art expressions – and then exported to Paris, Berlin and London where they found hugely appreciative audiences. The influences across the Atlantic were moving rapidly both ways, and audiences were far from monolithic, each one often accepting discrete art forms in different ways or choosing certain ones and not others. The lecture will conclude with a look at today’s forms of communication, such as Facebook, YouTube, vimeo, and  twitter, and will examine the ways in which America’s cultural soft power is being received in this country, Europe and around the world.
Location: The Strand Theatre, Rockland
Seating: limited to 350 people
Cost: $5 members, $8 nonmembers
Reservations: open seating, no reservations required
No Advance ticket sales - Tickets for sale at the door only.

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