College of Fine Arts and Communication

Research and Creative Activities

COFAC Colloquium 7 — DANCE STUDIO 1003

Off the blacklist, but still out of work: The anti-communist attacks against Lisa Sergio

Stacy Spaulding, Assistant Professor, Department of Mass Communication
and Communication Studies

Berger UniformAt the spring colloquium, I presented a paper that examined Lisa Sergio’s experience as an Italian propaganda broadcaster prior to her U.S. immigration in 1937. In the U.S., she became a citizen and created a lucrative career in radio commentary at the New York Times-owned WQXR, where her experience and background helped her explain political developments to audiences during World War II. However, in 1946, Sergio was suddenly fired. Unbeknownst to her, the FBI had labeled her a communist, and by 1949 and 1950, she was blacklisted by the American Legion and Red Channels. By 1953, she lost all of her radio work and came close to losing her U.S. passport too.

This paper investigates the FBI’s role in the anticommunist attacks on radio commentator and former fascist broadcaster Lisa Sergio using her 300-page FBI file and her voluminous collection of personal papers housed at Georgetown University. Included here is the story of the House Un-American Activities Committee’s involvement in Sergio’s firing from WQXR, surveillance reports of Sergio’s speeches filed by FBI-recruited American Legion members, Sergio’s successful argument to have her name removed from American Legion blacklists, and the FBI’s role in anti-communist publicity at the local level. Specifically, this paper suggests that the intense surveillance of alleged subversives was initiated and monitored from the highest levels in the FBI and that the private sector (in this case, the New York Times and the American Legion) voluntarily complied with and encouraged the political tactics that were intended to intimidate, manipulate and silence.


An Academic Residency at the National University of Costa Rica: The rigors and rewards of teaching in your second language

Tom Casciero, Professor, Department of Theatre Arts

This presentation describes a highly successful academic residency in the Theatre and Dance departments of the National University of Costa Rica (UNC) and a successful artistic collaboration with Teatro Abya Yala of San Jose. As a Visiting Professor for UNC, I taught two major voice pedagogies (Linklater and Lessac) and two major movement pedagogies (Laban, Impulse Improvisation) to students and faculty of the university.

As a researcher I compared and contrasted my devised theatre pedagogies with those of Teatro Abya Yala. I also represented UNC and Towson University in the professional and artistic community by teaching a master class and presenting a paper at the Mudanzas International Congress of Dance, and by working with local and national artists. In addition, I was interviewed by the major San Jose periodical, La Nacion.

All research and teaching was conducted in Spanish. As such, research was required to translate and adapt concepts, principles, and experiences. The Lessac Voice Work required additional research with Costa Rican colleagues to compensate for the differences in consonant and vowel usage and pronunciation in the Spanish Language.


College of Fine Arts and Communication
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• COFAC faculty and professional staff members submit your proposal for the next COFAC Colloquium. The deadline is Jan. 22 2010.



• Learn about more of Professor Spaulding's achievements on the Faculty Accolades page.






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