Arman Schwartz

Associate Scholar

20092010 Forum on Connections

Arman Schwartz

SAS Postdoctoral Fellow

Puccini’s Soundscapes

My research focuses on Italian opera, and auditory culture more generally, in the period between national unification and the rise of fascism. I’m interested in exploring a widespread fascination with unmediated sound—a fascination that unsettles conventional boundaries between music and literature, popular and avant-garde art, realism and futurism, positivist social science and “irrational” mass politics. Sound, I argue, allowed artists to bring into focus a whole nexus of concerns about Italian modernization; as such, theories of peripheral modernity and “vernacular” modernism are central to my work. As a post-doctoral fellow I will be completing a short monograph entitled Puccini’s Soundscapes, while also researching a larger project, Italy as Opera: Sound and Geography in the Italian Liberal State.