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CURRENTS: Courtney Hobson (Dresher)-Lindsay Johnson (Music)

Humanities Work Now


Performing Arts & Humanities Building : 216 and Online

Date & Time

April 29, 2024, 12:00 pm1:00 pm


The Dresher Center’s CURRENTS: Humanities Work Now lunchtime series showcases exciting new faculty work in the humanities in a dynamic and inter-disciplinary setting.

Lunch will be served at 11:30am.

Maryland’s Houses of Refuge for ‘Boys and Girls Who Go Astray’
Courtney Hobson, Program Manager, Dresher Center for the Humanities

Between 1850 and 1882, the state of Maryland established four “houses of refuge” for youth that were separated by race and gender. Much was written about these institutions in local newspapers such as The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and The Afro-American, leaving behind a large amount of source material. In this presentation, Hobson plans to discuss the best ways to engage with the material and what a final product might look like.


‘The Most Beautiful Sound’: The Queer Nexus of Listening and Voice in Early Modern Italian Convent Life
Lindsay Johnson, Senior Lecturer, Music; and Director, Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program

The convent in Early Modern Italy functioned as a uniquely queer space, denying women heteronormative lives while producing homosocial, virginal communities. As nuns wove together the dual acts of listening and vocalizing, they built queer sonic environments that were the site of massive power struggles between male church officials, the bodies of women religious, and the wealthy families of Italy. This project connects voice studies, feminist and queer musicology, sound studies, and nun studies to explore new ways of approaching convent musicking.