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Matthew Pessar Joseph

Matthew Pessar Joseph is a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University and a Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellow. He specializes in twentieth-century American racial, cultural, and urban history. His dissertation Syncopating Segregation: Musical Cross-Pollination in Post-World War II New York City, examines racially integrated musical scenes to show how artists sought to rethink and remap the spatial contours of an increasingly divided Gotham.

“A Totally Integrated Club Scene”: New York, New Music: 1980–1986 at the Museum of the City of New York

Now, 1980s music has become anything but underground. Perhaps spurred by the cost of once artistically vibrant downtown neighborhoods like the East Village and SoHo, nostalgia for the decade has reached new heights.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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