Margaret M. McGowan Death – Obituary News: Margaret M. McGowan, a pioneer in the field of dance history, has died at the age of 90. Professor McGowan remembered Ms. Yates’s help with the ballet de cour. “I recognized that the topic on which I was working had not been considered in an interdisciplinary approach before,” Ms. Yates explained. “Vocal music had been studied by musicologists, festival drawings had begun to be discovered by art historians, and literary scholars had realized the relevance of the court milieu in comprehending lyric poems.”
According to headtopics.com, Professor McGowan was guided by Ms. Yates, the pioneering French researcher Jean Jacquot, and Mr. Jacquot’s colleagues at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in her quest to connect those creative components in a larger European framework.
Her “precociously modern” multidisciplinary approach broadened the area of dance history, according to a colleague.
She explored the intersection of politics, ballet, design, and music in a unique multidisciplinary approach that resulted in the creation of a new field of study.
Scholars in France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and abroad acknowledged the value of Professor McGowan’s 1963 book on the ballet de cour. She began working at the University of Sussex in 1964 and ascended through the ranks to become deputy vice chancellor in 1992. She stayed in that post until 1998, a year after she retired from teaching.