Tuning Diplomacy: Music, Media, and the Soft Power of Empires

Uncover how sound shaped diplomacy and citizenship in Cohen and Gribenski’s enthralling books on music, media, and imperialism

In their recent books, Brigid Cohen and Fanny Gribenski examine entwined histories of music, media, and imperialism. Through their in-depth analysis of early Cold War musical scenes in New York (Cohen) and the rocky path towards international pitch standardization (Gribenski), they show how sound shaped diplomacy while making possible distinctive ways of being, thinking and feeling in the world. Both books demonstrate the relevance of music studies for broader conversations about power, citizenship, and decolonization. Cohen and Gribenski are joined by moderator Mara Mills, Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU.