Beth Fowler "Frances Williams Preston and Gender Politics in Popular Country Music, 1958-86"
This event is in the past.
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
656 W. Kirby
Detroit, MI 48202
The WSU Humanities Center invites faculty, students, staff, and the community to a Brown Bag talk given by Beth Fowler (Professor of Teaching, Honors College) on the topic of "Frances Williams Preston and Gender Politics in Popular Country Music, 1958-86".
Abstract: When Frances Williams Preston was plucked from her desk at country music station WSM to serve as the first head of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)’s Nashville branch in 1958, women were largely excluded from corporate leadership positions. And yet her efforts indispensably shaped country music’s transition from a seemingly “backward” genre created by and for rural Southerners, to a profitable popular music marketed across the nation. Country music’s unpolished origins, combined with Preston’s own efforts to minimize gender distinctions, challenged Cold War gender norms. Preston emphasized how individual “hard work” was key to her success, but she was also adept at switching between feminine and gender-neutral behaviors to minimize the effects of gender discrimination. Within the context of the Second Wave Women’s Movement, Preston helped to shape a workplace identity for educated white women entering managerial and corporate jobs from the 1960s onwards.
This event will be in-person (FAB 2339) and streamed. RSVP for the zoom link.