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The 2017 Seventeenth Annual UMM Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) celebrates student scholarly achievement and creative activities. Students from all disciplines participate in the URS. Types of presentations include posters, oral presentations, and short or abbreviated theatrical, dance, or musical performances. 

Presentations are accompanied by discussions and multimedia.


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Saturday, April 22 • 1:30pm - 2:00pm
A Feminist and Musical Analysis of Georges Bizet’s Carmen

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The opera Carmen is known perhaps not only for its music but also for its thrilling main character Carmen. The character Carmen is intense, colorful, powerful, and undoubtedly the most interesting character within the opera. Within opera women are typically viewed as victims who lack autonomy, such as in Dido and Aeneas, in which Dido commits suicide because of grief. This stance is traditionally taken when analyzing the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet; for example, professors of English and Gender and Sexuality studies Corinne E. Blackmer and Patricia Juliana Smith in En Travesti: Women, Gender Subversion, Opera claim, “she [Carmen], too, is a victim” (Blackmer and Smith 69-70). I argue that Carmen does not conform to the typical female operatic role and is not a victim. First, I analyze Carmen’s character and the opera’s libretto (text/lyrics) through a feminist lens in order to show that Carmen is an independent woman who is in complete control of the events of the opera. Then I provide support from musical features, such as chromaticism (the use of notes or chords outside the current musical key), to support my argument. My musical discussion of Carmen’s character will be focused upon the “Habanera,” one of the main arias within the opera. It is my hope that my research will help in reevaluating whether or not other female characters within opera are truly helpless victims.

Saturday April 22, 2017 1:30pm - 2:00pm
John Q Imholte Hall, Room #109