News Brief: Professor’s Research Results in Article, Multimedia Project and Podcast

Oceanhouse Hotel

Communication professor Brian Knoth demonstrates that there are many ways to tell a story.

Brian Knoth
Associate Professor Brian Knoth

Supported by a fellowship from the Preservation Society of Newport County, RIC Associate Professor of Communication Brian Knoth researched the role of music and dance in Newport during an era known as Newport's "hotel period" and published the results of his research in the "Journal of the Newport Historical Society." 

Prior to the Gilded Age and private mansions, Newport was known as the Queen of Resorts for its luxurious hotels. Between 1840 and 1865, these hotels were not exclusively for the rich and famous but drew middle-class vacationers during the summer. The main attraction was the music and dancing.

Knoth's research focuses on a German immigrant orchestra called the Germania Musical Society who performed at the hotels. In his article titled "Music and Dancing at the 'Queen of Resorts': The Impact of the Germania Musical Society on Newport's Hotel Period," he argues that this orchestra was key to the success of Newport's hotel culture.

Knoth later adapted his research into a multimedia experience for Rhode Tour, an online site that brings to life Rhode Island history using text, sound and images and can be viewed from a computer screen or a smartphone app.

Demonstrating that there are many ways to tell a story, Knoth also presented his research in a podcast for Public Radio.