Informationen zum Termin 21. Januar 2021

Do 21. Januar 2021 | 18:00 Uhr
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Raum/ Saal: Online

Reclaiming Lena Horne: approaching Blackness and stardom in the Hollywood musical
Ref.: Hannah Robbins

Vortrag im Rahmen des Collegium Musicologicum

Hannah Robbins (University of Nottingham)
Reclaiming Lena Horne: approaching Blackness and stardom in the Hollywood musical

"Hollywood didn't know what to do with me" is one of the most famous quotes attributed to the film star and recording artist, Lena Horne. Celebrated as the first Black actor to secure a multi-film contract at the legendary MGM film company, Horne broke ground as a performer and activist in the 1940s. This paper examines how Horne is presented on screen, how this framing has informed representations of her career, and how her on-screen legacy has been shaped by toxic whiteness that erases her Black heritage and her campaigning to improve conditions for Black Americans at the time.

Hannah Robbins is Assistant Professor for Popular Music and Director of Black Studies at the University of Nottingham. She is an expert in American musical theatre in its cultural context. Her current research focuses on the life and career of Cole Porter and the representation of Black and queer creatives in American musical theatre history. She has published widely on movie and stage musicals from The Wizard of Oz to Hamilton and Disney's Frozen. Dr Robbins completed her PhD at the University of Sheffield. In 2018, she was appointed the inaugural Frederick Loewe Postdoctoral Research Associate, where she completed a critical edition of Lerner and Loewe's first hit musical Brigadoon. She has also worked as a Visiting Lecturer in Musical Theatre at the University of Leeds. Dr Robbins is in the process of preparing a monograph on the hit musical Kiss Me, Kate (Oxford University Press, 2021), a chapter on Lena Horne's film career (Oxford University Press, 2021), and a critical approach to intersectionality and the American musical (Cambridge University Press, 2023).

Die Gastvorträge finden im Wintersemester 2020/21 als Zoom-Sessions über Moodle statt. Sollten Sie Interesse an den Vorträgen haben, möchten wir Sie bitten, sich in die Moodle-Veranstaltung "Collegium Musicologicum" ( einzuschreiben. Dort erhalten Sie dann den entsprechenden Link sowie das Passwort für die jeweilige Veranstaltung. Wenn Sie sich nicht einschreiben können oder wollen, oder wenn Sie Fragen haben, wenden Sie sich bitte an Dr. Sydney Hutchinson:

The winter 2020/21 guest lectures will take place as online Zoom sessions. We recommend that all who are interested in the lectures sign up for the series using the Moodle site called "Collegium Musicologicum" ( On that site you will find the links to all Zoom sessions and you will receive the passwords from an administrator. If you are unable to sign up for a free Moodle account, do not wish to, or if you otherwise need assistance, please write to Dr. Sydney Hutchinson at

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