When I “make” an Interchange program I create analogizing echoes inside and outside of the show.
An example. The last show with author Maggie Doherty was about her book The Equivalents. During the Interview Doherty talks about Betty Friedan and how she called being a wife and mother a kind of concentration camp within a “traditional norm.” This “echoed” in my thinking as I edited and selected music and wrote the frame text for the program.
Synchronicity offered me music: a friend on Facebook posted a jazz song by a woman pianist named Jutta Hipp. Never having heard of her, I listened, liked it, and looked her up. Weirdly appropriate she seemed to embody the 1950s female – no support for work in a man’s world – giving up playing jazz and becoming a seamstress for 35 years. Perhaps she’d have really discovered something about herself and music if she’d been a recipient of a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Independent Study. Anyway, a salient detail about Jutta Hipp was that she grew up under Nazi rule and listened to jazz in secret.
Doherty makes the point during the interview that she thinks of 50s America as focused on “containment.”
Sexton’s “Her Kind” (which I used for the show title) speaks of women accused of being witches and being burned and broken in their difference.
I used Maxine Kumin’s “The Woodchucks” where she speaks of her wish to exterminate these creatures in the same manner as the Nazis did Jews and other “degenerate” humans (homosexuals, “gypsies,” etc.)…gas them, and if that doesn’t work, gun them down.
An educated woman is seen as a threat to the J. Edgar Hoover Club of America in the same fashion as homosexuals and commies (on the second go-round, after the commies beat the Nazis with minimal US assistance).
Containment, concentration, conformity – these are also linked back to the previous Interchange on the Infrastructures of Race (Dan Nemser) which discusses 17th century colonial Mexico and the ways the Spanish controlled the indigenous people.