Strains of Dissent cover
Strains of Dissent
Popular Music and Everyday Resistance in WWII France, 1940 - 1945
During the German Occupation from 1940 to 1944, Resistance fighters, Parisian youth, and French prisoners of war mined a vast repertoire from a long national musical tradition and a burgeoning international entertainment industry, embracing music as a rhetorical resource with which to destabilize Nazi ideology and contest collaborationist Vichy propaganda. After the Liberation of 1944, popular music continued to mediate French political life, helping citizens to challenge American hegemony and recuperate their nation’s lost international standing. Ultimately, through song, French dissidents rejected Nazi subordination, the politics of collaboration, and American intervention and insisted upon a return to that trinity of traditional French values, liberté, egalité, fraternité. Strains of Dissent recovers the significance of music as a rhetorical means of survival, subversion, and national identity construction and illuminates the creative and cunning ways that individual citizens defied the Occupation outside of formal resistance networks and movements. 
Publication Date: January 1st, 2019
256 pages| 6 in x 9 in
Kelly Jakes is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Wayne State University.

Early Praise

Strains of Dissent is a phenomenal book. Jakes excavates an impressive archive of source material to explore how music facilitated rhetorical forms of resistance, survival, and national identification in occupied France. The narrative Jakes crafts is both compelling and insightful, looking to the participatory nature of music and its pivotal role in the symbolic contestation over national identity, gender performance, and colonial legacies.”
Jeffrey A. Bennett, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, College of Arts and Science, Vanderbilt University, and author of Banning Queer Blood: Rhetorics of Citizenship, Contagion, and Resistance
“Jakes recovers a trove of musical memories and sheds new light on popular culture and life under Nazi Occupation. Under the constant threat of reprisals, the guardians of a republican France turned to song and dance as a rhetorical resource for the subversion of Vichy cultural values. From the mainstream Edith Piaf to the syncopated subversive zazous, Strains of Dissent shows how an old French tradition of political singing was strategically deployed across musical genres as a tool for resistance at a moment when normal political expression was nearly verboten.”
Matthew F. Jordan, Associate Professor of Media Studies, Penn State University, and author of Le Jazz: Jazz and French Cultural Identity
“Jakes’s book is a thoroughly researched, archivally informed, and detailed study of the fullness of music: its notes, its lyrics, and the bodies that performed it. It provides a model for the rhetorical analysis of music.”
Catherine Helen Palczewski, Professor of Communication Studies, University of Northern Iowa, and coauthor of Rhetoric in Civic Life and Gender in Communication

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