Skip to Questions


Useful Tip: Make sure to use proper spelling in your searches; abbreviations or acronyms are not acceptable.

I am doing my research paper on an analysis of the purpose behind Porgy and Bess, was it political or just a opera.

Last Updated: Oct 15, 2014  |  97 Views

Was this helpful? 0   0


I began with a search of the library’s holdings using the “discovery” search box on the library home page. For example, I found several good eBooks for you by searching: (porgy and bess) criticism.

There is a chapter in this book devoted to commentary and criticism of the opera:
Porgy and Bess, by Burton D. Fisher

And this book, The Strange Career of Porgy and Bess: Race, Culture, and America’s Most Famous Opera, by Ellen Noonan, is entirely devoted to critical examination of the opera.

In The George Gershwin Reader, by Robert Wyatt and John Andrew Johnson, you’ll find critical examination of “Porgy and Bess” in Section V.

Several articles turned up in that “discovery” search, too, and they seemed right on point. Most of them were from ProQuest’s Research Library, so a further search of that resource was in order, as well as searching within key journal titles suggested from the “discovery” search (Journal of American Folklore, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, and Journal of American Studies).

Here are three full-text articles from the “discovery” search to get you started:

1.       “An American Folk Opera? Triangulating Folkness, Blackness, and Americaness in Gershwin and Heyward’s Porgy and Bess,” by Ray Allen

2.       “Disguise, Containment and the Porgy and Bess Revival of 1952-1956,” by Monod David

3.       “Where Did Porgy and Bess Come From?,” by Richard Crawford

You will find more articles like these in JSTOR, Sage Periodicals, ProQuest, and EBSCO (using the Humanities modules and Academic Search Complete).

Also, although it is counter-intuitive, I found a lot of information on the play and discussion of Gershwin and Heyward’s political perspectives from the Literature Resource Center. Use the tabs on the results screen to display criticism, biographies, work overviews, reviews/news, primary source materials, and multimedia links.

Please get back in touch if you need help finding more materials like these for your research paper.

Answered by Sandy HawesBookmark and Share

Other Answers / Comments (0)

    • a small icon
      Call us: 800.359.5945 or 352.588.8477
    • a small icon
      Text us at (352) 678-4393
    • a small icon
      Chat with a Librarian: Ask A Librarian
    • a small icon
      Get Help at our Reference Desk  more info
    • a small icon

    Live Chat

    Morning Chat

    Browse by Popular Topics

    About the Library  –  Articles  –  Ask A Librarian  –  Blackboard  –  Books  –  Business  –  Career Planning  –  Catalog  –  Center for Online Learning  –  Circulation Policies  –  Citation styles  –  Company Information  –  Criminal Justice  –  Distance Learning  –  E-books  –  EasyBib  –  Education  –  Email  –  English Literature  –  Graduate Class  –  Healthcare  –  Interlibrary Loan  –  Internet  –  Internships  –  Journals  –  Journals/Newspapers  –  Learning Studio  –  LibGuides  –  Library Hours  –  PowerPoint  –  Printing  –  Psychology  –  Religion  –  Scanning  –  Search Help  –  Social Work  –  Technology  –  Writing Assistance  –  writing help  
    View All Topics