Student Showcase—Rhys Glennon’s Atomic Folk: The Folk Music Revival and the Bomb

rhys glennon explores musical references to the atomic bomb.

Rhys Glennon, “Atomic Folk The Folk Music Revival and the Bomb”

Professor Kramer’s comments:

Joan Baez supposedly (and probably apocryphally) claimed she sang “to troubled intellectuals with the Bomb on their minds” in the folk revival. Rhys Glennon’s project helps us notice just how far and wide awareness of the Bomb radiated (sorry) through American folk and pop music during the decades after World War II. Using a series of thematic essays and mini-essays on particular songs, the project probes the continued question of how we might provide many points of access (“multiple affordances,” in the DH jargon) to a topic, letting the reader explore chunks of information, interpretation, and multimedia examples of evidence in innumerable sequences. Reading here becomes something like strolling through an exhibition, letting one be surprised at where the story takes you, noticing throughout how postwar Americans were worried (and also, perversely, had lots of fun) under the shadow of Atomic apocalypse.

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