The Hidden 1980s: Pop Music in the Reagan Era (Hybrid)


The Filson Historical Society Thu, Feb 8 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM


Pop music, and especially the launch of music videos into the mainstream, turned out to be a futile battleground for messages about gender, sexuality, and race. Revisit iconic 80s music and music videos to discover a constantly-swinging pendulum between the transgressive and the conservative. We trace genres of music through the 1980s to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the dawn of global music genre fueled by American artists, nightlife, and subcultures. 

Daniel Gifford, Ph.D. is a public historian who focuses on American popular and visual culture, as well as museums in American culture. He received his PhD from George Mason University in 2011. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Filson Historical Society, and his career spans both academia and public history, including several years with the Smithsonian Institution. He is the author of American Holiday Postcards 1905-1915: Imagery and Context (2013) and The Last Voyage of the Whaling Bark Progress: New Bedford, Chicago and the Twilight of an Industry (2020). He is currently working on his third book, which explores the founding era of the Filson Historical Society, 1884-1899.