Strong Women, Good Music In Bend and Redmond

Posted By:  Liz Goodrich
Date Posted:  11/14/2004

Deschutes Public Library pleased to welcome Dianne Dugaw, Professor of English at the University of Oregon for a program titled “Fighting and Sailing Women in Folksongs and History.” Dugaw will be at the Bend Public Library (Brooks Room) Saturday, November 20, at 2:00 p.m. and at the Redmond Public Library on Sunday, November 21 at 2:00 p.m. Both programs are free and open to the public.

Dugaw, who teaches in the Folklore Program and the UofO, was raised on a small ranch in the rural Pacific Northwest. She began her career as a folksinger. During the 1970’s she became interested in the origins and histories of songs in America and traveled to the Ozark Mountain region of Arkansas and Oklahoma to collect traditional songs, hymns, and tunes. After earning her B.A. in English at the University of Portland, Dugaw went on to receive a master’s degree in music history from University of Colorado. She then studied literature, music, drama, and folklore at the University of California, Los Angeles, earning her Ph.D in English. She has published three books, including one titled Warrior Women and Popular Balladry, numerous articles on literature, folklore, popular culture, and women’s studies and has recorded a CD, Dangerous Examples – Fighting and Sailing Women in Song.

During her program, Dugaw discusses the origins of particular songs, including the events, history, people and politics to which the songs refer. According to Dugaw, “the female warrior of popular ballads often masqueraded as a man, venturing to war for love and glory.” Songs celebrating such women flourished as popular “hits for more than 200 years, reaching their zenith in the eighteenth century. The program takes up issues of gender, social class, heroic valor, women’s history, and sexual orientation. Dugaw presents ten ballads in varied contexts and musical styles, from Elizabethan to present-day cowboy songs.

For more information about this or other library programs, please call 312-1032.

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