Thursday 19 November 2015

Public Lecture - The Beatles in Miami

The Beatles’ White (Photograph) Album: Race, Class and Gender in Miami Beach, 1964

Professor Brian Ward (Northumbria University) 
Wednesday 9th December, 2015. Arts 2.01. 4pm
This event is free and open to all

This talk explores the circumstances surrounding the Beatles’ February 1964 visit to Miami, Florida, focusing on issues of race, class and gender. Whereas oceans of ink have been devoted to the story of the fab four’s triumphant arrival in New York and debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, relatively little attention has been paid to their second Sullivan Show appearance from Miami, or to their brief holiday in the Sunshine State – a state embroiled in the African American freedom struggle and beset by especially acute Cold War paranoia. Revisiting this trip, particularly its photographic archive – and even more particularly the images generated when the band met Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) – the talk hopes to tease out some of the deeper historical and symbolic significances of the band’s first real encounter with the US South, while also paying due attention to the peculiarities of race relations in Miami-Dade County.

A former UEA undergraduate, Brian is a Professor in American Studies at Northumbria University. Previously, he held the Chair in American Studies at the University of Manchester (2006-2012), served as Head of the Department of History at the University of Florida (2000-2006), and taught at the Universities of Newcastle upon Tyne (1991-2000) and Durham (1990-91). He has published widely on the issues of race and popular culture in the United States, most recently the article, “Music, Musical Theater and the Imagined South in Interwar Britain,” Journal of Southern History, LXXX, 1 (2014), pp. 39-72 and the co-edited monograph, Creating and Consuming the American South (University Press of Florida, 2015).