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You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had: The Life-Affirming Art of the Blues

March 19, 1988 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm PST


The blues is a form of musical folk poetry, created by Black Americans around the turn of this century, and developed through various phases and styles to the present. This music has been one of the mainsprings of American popular culture, and some of its products are deep and intricate works of irresistible interest.

Many blues songs and performances are of great psychological concern, especially in their exploration of emotional states and in their elaboration of attitudes providing strategies for dealing with troubles of various kinds. Such psychological matters will be the focus of this seminar, which will survey the work of a number of blues artists from various regions and periods, from the beginning of this art form to the present day. Tapes of blues music will be played throughout the seminar.

Related Lecture: Passion and Irony in the Blues

WILLIAM WILLEFORD, PH.D., is an Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Washington. He is a Jungian analyst, trained in Zurich, and is president of the Pacific Northwest Society of Jungian Analysts. He is the author of The Fool and His Scepter: A Study in Clowns and Jesters and their Audience, and Feeling, Imagination and Self: Transformations of the Mother-Infant Relationship. He has been an ardent listener to jazz and the blues for most of his life.


March 19, 1988
9:00 am - 4:00 pm PST
Event Category:


Portland State University Smith Hall
Portland, OR United States + Google Map
We offer Continuing Education Credit through NASW. The fee for workshop CEU credit is $10 for 4 hours. To obtain CEU credit, add the CEU to your shopping cart when registering.
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