Clare Spark is an historian, with degrees from Cornell University (B.S. ’58), Harvard Graduate School of Education (M.A.T. in Science Teaching ’59), and UCLA (Ph.D.’93). From 1969 through 1998 she produced hundreds of radio programs on the politics of the art world for Los Angeles Pacifica station KPFK, and was Program Director of the station from 2-81 through July 1982. Her expanded doctoral dissertation was published by Kent State University Press in 2001 and 2006 as Hunting Captain Ahab: Psychological Warfare and the Melville Revival. Another research interest is the career of Ralph Bunche and his changing politics from the 1930s through the 1940s. Clare is currently appearing as occasional guest commentator on LivingArts, produced by Michael Woodson for Pacifica station KPFT (Houston).
The Yankee Doodle Society was founded by Joseph Byrd and Clare Spark in 1974 in order to reproduce and analyze and reproduce (without censorship) the music of the American middle class in the early and mid-nineteenth century, unmistakably racist and “modern.” That body of music has already been recorded and historicized with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and TOSCO. YDS is a 501(c)3 organization and welcomes donations. Future projects will focus on the political culture (including the culture of the academy and of the mass media) of the twentieth and twentieth centuries, continuing to rely upon primary sources and original interpretations of the main themes in American and European history, for instance, in current diagnoses of mass death, identity, ethnicity and mental illness, especially as these concepts impinge upon artistic/cultural freedom. [CS]