Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 7:00pm
Book Culture, 536 W 112th St, New York, NY
You are invited to Book Culture
Tuesday, November 25th, at 7pm for the launch of Prof. Ana María Ochoa Gautier's
new book, Aurality: Listening and Knowledge in Nineteenth-Century Colombia,
published by Duke University Press
Tuesday, Nov. 25th, 7:00pmLocation: Book Culture (event link here)
536 W 112th St, New York, NY 10025
Ana Maria Ochoa Gautier explores how listening has been central to the production of notions of language, music, voice, and sound that determine the politics of life. Drawing primarily from nineteenth-century Colombian sources, Ochoa Gautier locates sounds produced by different living entities at the juncture of the human and nonhuman. Her "acoustically tuned" analysis of a wide array of texts reveals multiple debates on the nature of the aural. These discussions were central to a politics of the voice harnessed in the service of the production of different notions of personhood and belonging. In Ochoa Gautier's groundbreaking work, Latin America and the Caribbean emerge as a historical site where the politics of life and the politics of expression inextricably entangle the musical and the linguistic, knowledge and the sensorial.Ana María Ochoa Gautier
is Associate Professor of Music and Director of the Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University. She is the author of several books and many articles.
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Duke University Press - November 21st, 2014
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 4:37pm
701C Dodge Hall (Center for Ethnomusicology), Columbia U. Morningside Campus, Broadway @ 116th St.
The Center for Ethnomusicology Presents:
"How To Be A Latin American Vanguard Artist and Not Die Trying."
Wed. Nov. 19, 4pm-6pm
Center for Ethnomusicology
701C Dodge Hall
Columbia University Morningside Campus
116th and Broadway
Free and open to the public!
click image for full-sized poster!
Rolando Peña is an internationally known multimedia artist who has
been involved in theatre, dance, and fine arts since 1958. A student of
architecture and design at Universidad Central de Venezuela, he joined
the theater faculty of that university in 1963. In 1965 he staged the
pioneering multimedia shows Testimonio and Homenaje a Henry Miller with
the writer José Ignacio Cabrujas, which featured dance, theater, films,
slide projections, and other elements, the first such performances in
Supported by a grant from the Venezuelan government, he then moved to
New York City to study dance with Martha Graham, Alwin Nicolais, and
Merce Cunningham. He was quickly accepted by some of the iconic figures
of the day. In 1966 Allen Ginsburg and Timothy Leary joined him for the
psychedelic show The Illumination of the Buddha, and the following year
he founded and directed the Latin American vanguard group The Foundation
for the Totality, which presented exhibitions, happenings, films,
publications, and other projects. Soon he became involved with Andy
Warhol and his famous Factory: Warhol filmed many of The Foundation for
the Totality’s happenings, and Mr. Pena acted in some of Warhol’s films.
Rolando Peña’s own film Diálogo con Ché, which he scripted
and acted in and José Soltero directed and shot in New York, was invited
to the 1969 Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, and the
Cinémathèque Palais Chaillot in Paris. Moving back to multimedia, in
1975 he exhibited Santería at the Bogarin Workshop Gallery in New York,
and this same multimedia installation was the opening exhibit at the
Annex at the Contemporary Art Museum in Caracas.
But beginning in 1980 he found the theme that became the predominant
focus of his subsequent work: crude oil. Mr. Peña uses oil as an
expression both of Venezuela and of how Venezuela is perceived
internationally. By means of sculpture, graphics, film, and video, and
sometimes live performance, he examines the ideas of power, money, and
religion through the vehicle of oil and the machinery associated with
His initial exhibition on this theme was entitled The Oil Tower,
which was mounted in 1980 at the Alternative Museum. He was supported in
part during these early years by Fellowships from the Venezuelan
National Endowment for the Arts (CONAC) and CAPS in New York, and a
grant from the National Art Foundation in Venezuela (FUNDARTE). In 1997
he was chosen to represent Venezuela at the 47th Venice Biennial. His
project El Modelo Estándar de la Materia: Tributo al Siglo XX, an
interactive multimedia installation, was mounted in 1999 at the Sofía
Imber Contemporary Art Museum in Caracas. He presented many video
installations with oil as metaphor in the ensuing years, including The
Oil Spill, at the 2000 London Biennial; El Modelo Estándar de la
Materia, at ExpoHannover in 2000; Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking: God’s
Barrel, at Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo El Gallo in Salamanca in 2002,
which then travelled to the Instituto Italo Latino-Americano in Rome and
the Museo Pinacoteca Amedeo Modigliani in Follonica, Italy, and was
revived as a mural for the Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas
Increasingly recognized as an important figure in the art world,
several tributes to his work were organized, such as at “Interarte 99”
in Valencia, Spain, in 1999; at Feria Internacional de Arte
Contemporáneo, at Mercado de Fuencarral in Madrid, organized by the
European Association of Young Artists, in 2000; and the lecture series
“Arte Ciencia y Tecnología, en la obra de Rolando Peña” presented at the
Andrés Bello Catholic University. In addition he served as a Professor
of Multimedia at the Ateneo de Caracas in 1972-73; as an invited
conferee at a conference on contemporary art at the University of St.
Denis in Paris in 1985; as a guest artist at the Instituto Venezolano de
Investigaciones from 1998 to 2001; as a guest lecturer at Andrés Bello
Catholic University from 1999 to 2007; and as the organizer of special
events for the Organización Nelson Garrido (ONG) in Caracas since 2001.
His knowledge of contemporary art has led to his curating several
international shows: Les Droits de l’Art at Chapelle de la Salpêtrière,
Paris (1989); Pierre Restany Le Coer et la Raison, at Morleix, France
(1991); V Muestra Internacional de Video, in Seville, Spain (1991); AU
DELA, Observatori 2001, at Segundo Festival Internacional de Arte, in
Valencia; and Performance Art (Dialogues-Performance) at ONG in 2007.
During his Guggenheim Fellowship term, Mr. Peña will be working on a
new interactive multimedia exhibition entitled Make Oil Green, which
adds the topic of global warming to his persistent interest in and
exploration of the theme of oil.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 4:00pm
701C Dodge Hall (Center for Ethnomusicology)
The Center for Ethnomusicology is pleased to present:
Prof. Jocelyne Guilbalt (University of California, Berkeley)
Roy Cape's Labor of Love: Theorizing Work Ethics through Musical Biography
Thursday Oct. 23, 2014
4:00 - 6:00 pm
Center for Ethnomusicology
701C Dodge Hall (Columbia Morningside Campus)
Jocelyne Guilbault is
Professor of Ethnomusicology at the Music Department of the University
of California, Berkeley. Since 1980, she has done extensive fieldwork in
the French Creole- and English-speaking islands of the Caribbean on
both traditional and popular music. Informed by a postcolonial
perspective, she published several articles on issues of representation,
aesthetics, the cultural politics of West Indian music industries,
multiculturalism, and world music. She is the author of Zouk: World
Music in the West Indies (1993), a study that maps the complex musical
network among the French-Creole speaking islands, and the vexed
relations that are articulated through music between the West Indian
French Departments and the Metropole, France. Co-editor of Border
Crossings: New Directions in Music Studies (1999-2000), she has since
then been on several Editorial boards, including The Black Music
Research Journal, the Society for Ethnomusicology Journal,
and MUSICultures (Canada). In 2007, she published Governing Sound: the
Cultural Politics of Trinidad's Carnival Musics (2007), a study that
explores the ways the calypso music scene became audibly entangled with
projects of governing, audience demands, and market incentives. Her new
book about and with Roy Cape, titled Roy Cape: A Life on the Calypso and
Soca Banstand (2014) is both a study about reputation, circulation, and
work ethics, and a dialogic experiment in story.
Click image for full-sized poster.
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates Dr. Melissa Gonzalez,
who successfully defended her PhD dissertation on September 17, 2014. Dr. Gonzalez is also an alumna of the Barnard College music major. Her dissertation, advised by Prof. Christopher Washburne,
is entitled: "Cien por Ciento Nacional!" Panamanian Musica Tipica and the Quest for National and Territorial Sovereignty."
Dissertation Abstract: "In this dissertation, I investigate the socio-cultural and musical transfigurations of a rural-identified musical genre known as musica tipica as it engages with the dynamics of Panama's rural/urban divide and the country's nascent engagement with the global political economy. Though regarded as emblematic of Panama's national folklore, musica tipica is also the basis for the country's principal and most commercially successful popular music style known by the same name. The primary concern of this project is to examine how and why this particular genre continues to undergo simultaneous processes of folklorization and commercialization. As an unresolved genre of music, I argue that musica tipica can offer rich insight into the politics of working out individual and national Panamanian identities.
Based on fourteen months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Panama City and several rural communities in the country's interior, I examine the social struggles that subtend the emergence of musica tipica's genre variations within local, national, and transnational contexts. Through close ethnographic analysis of particular case studies, this work explores how musicians, fans, and the country's political and economic structures constitute divisions in regards to generic labeling and how differing fields of musical circulation and meaning are imagined."
Congratulations to Dr. Gonzalez!
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates Dr. Shannon Garland, who successfully defended her doctoral dissertation on September 5, 2014. Dr. Garland's dissertation, advised by Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa, is entitled: "Music, Affect, Value, and Labor: Late Capitalism and the (Mis)Productions of Indie Music in Chile and Brazil."
Dissertation Abstract: This dissertation traces the tensions surrounding indie music production in Santiago, Chile and Sao Paulo, Brazil. I conducted several years of ethnographic research on locally situated, yet transnationally interpolated, musical production, circulation and listening practices in Santiago and Sao Paulo. I open by detailing the expansion of the indie touring market from the global north into both cities, theorizing the enlistment of affect as a neoliberal technique for producing monetary value. The next chapter considers spaces for musical association as forms of infrastructure that both emerge from and themselves help constitute musical-social networks in Santiago. I follow by showing how the history of Brazilian individuals' engagement with particular sets of indie sounds from the global north bear upon the contemporary formation of infrastructures of social relations, musical aesthetics, and places for musical and social association. Finally, I detail how the tensions between the construction of audience, value, aesthetics and circulation arising from new production structures manifest in the politics of a new type of Brazilian institution called Fora do Eixo. Here, I inspect the logics of aesthetic valuation in building structures for music production within a complex state-private nexus of cultural funding in Brazil. As a whole, this dissertation explores the political struggles emerging as actors seek to establish new structures for participating in live shows and for playing music as both a creative practice and as an economic activity within emerging forms of communication made possible by digital media. Each struggle is simultaneously interpolated by the messy articulation of transnationally-produced notions of aesthetics, authentic modes of engagement with music, and moral-ethical ways of organizing music production, circulation and remuneration as a social practice. The dissertation thus highlights the way new media and economic logics build upon and clash with historical practices of production, evaluation of aesthetics, and regimes for mediating the artistic, the economic, and the social.
The Department of Music at Columbia University seeks to hire a tenure-track assistant professor with a specialization in ethnomusicology. The responsibilities of the position include research and publication, graduate and undergraduate teaching, contributing to the programming and development of the Center for Ethnomusicology, and participating in departmental service. Additionally, the successful candidate will be expected to teach in Columbia's Core Curriculum. We seek a colleague whose work will complement our current strengths.
For further information and instructions on applying, please see Columbia's online Recruitment System for Academic Personnel (RAPS) website:
Application review begins Oct. 20, 2014. The position is open until filled.
Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.
click image for full sized poster!
Center for Ethnomusicology 2014 Sound & Vision Series
Friday, September 26, 2014 - 9:00am - Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 11:00pm
701C Dodge Hall/Black Box Theater, Barnard College Diana Center
The Center for Ethnomusicology presents a conference and concert: La Voz – VoiceIn Spanish, Portuguese and English
Co-organized with ILAS, LAIC and Barnard Forum for Migration
PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE NO MORE TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR THE SEPT. 27 CONCERT EVENT.
Sept. 26 and September 27, 2014
Center for Ethnomusicology (701C Dodge Hall)
Black Box Theater at Barnard College Diana CenterParticipants:
Juan Carlos Asensio Palacios, Ticio Escobar, Licia Fiol-Matta, Enrique Ignacio Gavilán Domínguez, Anne Levitsky, Cacá Machado, Laura Jordán, Silvia Martínez, Marti Newland, Ana M. Ochoa, Deisi Oliveira Montardo, María Pagán-Mattos, Jesús Rodríguez Velasco, Osvaldo Salerno, Aurélie Vialette, Leonardo Waisman.There will also be a concert related to the conference: Sept. 26, 7.30 pm Blackbox Theater, Barnard,
original compositions by Mexican composer Marcela Rodríguez (Rasgando el Silencio) performed by Lucía Pulido and Jeffrey Zeigler, and Brazilian composer and musicologist, Cacá Machado (Ritmo y Silencio, canciones), Performed by Lucía Pulido and Cacá Machado.
See attached conference program for more information.
Click image for full sized program poster!
Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 12:00pm - 2:00pm
701C Dodge Hall, Center for Ethnomusicology, Columbia University Morningside Campus, 116th St. and Broadway
The Center for Ethnomusicology presents a colloquium on:Indigeneity and Music
featured speakers:Amanda Minks
(University of Oklahoma):"Constructing Culture and Indigeneity on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua"Deise Lucy Montardo
(Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Brazil; President. Brazilian Ethnomusicology Association [ABET]):Music and Cosmology in Lowland South America: Guarani and Baniwa cases
Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014
12 noon - 2pm
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusicology)
Columbia University Morningside Campus (B'way and 116th St.)
Free and Open to the Public
Amanda Minks is Associate Professor in the Honors College and is
affiliated with the Department of Anthropology and with the programs in
Native American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at OU. She
earned a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University in 2006, with
research specializations in music-language relations and language
socialization. Her courses focus on music, language, and cultural
politics in the Americas. She also teaches a course with a global focus
on intellectual property and cultural heritage.
Dr. Minks has conducted ethnographic research on the Atlantic coast
of Nicaragua for over ten years. She has examined the aesthetics and
politics of play among Miskitu children living on Corn Island in her
monograph Voices of Play: Miskitu Children's Speech and Song on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua (University
of Arizona Press, 2013). She has also written about Miskitu music and
community media in Bilwi, in the northern autonomous region of the
Atlantic coast. Most recently, she has been studying inter-American
cultural policies of the mid-20th century and their impact on
discourses of development in the U.S. and in Latin America.
Dr. Minks has received grants and fellowships from the Mellon
Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Social Science Research
Council, and the Fulbright Institute of International Education, among
others. Her past publications include articles in the journals Pragmatics, Language and Communication, Ethnomusicology, Yearbook for Traditional Music, and Wani, as well as chapters in several edited volumes.
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Monday, September 8, 2014 - 4:10pm
The Center for Ethnomusicology Presents:George Yúdice
(Director, Miami Observatory on Communication and Creative Industries, University of Miami)Vulgar musics and the challenge to the recognition of cultural heritage
Monday, Sept. 8, 2014
4.10 – 6.30pm
701C Dodge Hall (Center for Ethnomusicology)http://works.bepress.com/george_yudice/
George Yúdice received his B.A. (Chemistry) from Hunter College, CUNY; his M.A.
(Spanish) from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana; and his Ph.D. (Romance
Languages) from Princeton University (1977). His teaching includes critical theory,
literary and cultural studies; his courses range from contemporary aesthetics and
politics to urban imaginaries, to film recreations of literary works, Mapping Miami, and
cultural policy in Latin America. He also teaches in the Program in Latin American
Studies and he is director of the Miami Observatory on Communication and Creative
), which tracks work in music, theater, audiovisual, culture-based urban revitalization, cultural networks throughout the Americas, and community-based projects in South Florida
The Center warmly congratulates Dr. Marti Newland, who successfull defended her dissertation, entitled Sounding “Black”: An Ethnography of Racialized Vocality at Fisk University, on June 23, 2014. Her dissertation was sponsoredby Prof. Fox.
Dr. Newland has accepted a postdoctoral position as Core Lecturer (Music Humanities) at Columbia University for 2014-16.
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates Dr. Nili Belkind,
who defended her dissertation on May 8, 2014. Dr. Belkind's dissertation is entitled Music in conflict: Palestine, Israel, and the politics of aesthetic production
. It was sponsored (advised) by Prof. Christopher Washburne.
Dr. Belkind's dissertation is an ethnographic study of the fraught and complicated cultural politics of music making in Israel-Palestine in the context of the post-Oslo era, a time of highly polarized sentiments and general retreat from the expressive modes of relationality that accompanied the 1990s peace process. In it, she examines the politics of sound and the ways in which music making and attached discourses reflect and constitute identities, and also, contextualize political action. Ethical and aesthetic positions that shape contemporary artistic production in Israel-Palestine are informed by profound imbalances of power between the State (Israel), the stateless (Palestinians of the oPt), the complex positioning of Israel’s Palestinian minority, and contingent exposure to ongoing political violence.
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates the following graduating seniors who have majored in ethnomusicology or worked closely with the ethnomusicology area faculty on senior projects. 2014 was a banner year for undergraduate ethnomusicologists at Columbia!
(Independent Major in Ethnomusicology, and Biology, Columbia College) completed a senior thesis entitled "Carnatic Music in Diaspora: Tamil American Carnatic Musicians," advised by Prof. Aaron Fox. The thesis examines the bicultural musical lives of young Tamil Americans.
Kevin Woojin Lee
(Music, and Economics, Columbia College) completed a senior thesis entitled "Crisis in the Operatic Tradition: Innovation as Violation," which examines the economic failure of the New York City Opera.
(Ethnomusicology, Barnard College) completed a senior thesis entitled "The Jazz Mass: Experiencing Religion and Spirituality Through Non-Traditional Music," advised by Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa. Kate has also worked extensively for the Center for Ethnomusicology in numerous capacities, as well as for the Music and Arts Library.
(Music, Columbia College) has been awarded Departmental Honors for her essay (advised by Prof. Aaron Fox) "A Space for Musical Therapy: On Nationalism, Modernity, Music, and Medicine in the Transition from Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic." The essay looks at the use of music for medicinal or therapeutic purposes across broad historical span of Turkish history.
(Ethnomusicology, Barnard College) completed a senior thesis entitled "A Case Study of the NYU Steinhardt Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy: The Reception of Music Therapy as Explored through Analysis of its Research," advised by Prof. Christopher Washburne.
(Ethnmusicology, Barnard College) completed a senior thesis entitled "Making Miley 2.0: The Mechanisms Behind the Rebranding of Miley Cyrus," advised by Prof. Kevin Fellezs.
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates Dr. Jessica Schwartz, currently completing her two year term as a Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department, who has been appointed Assistant Professor of Musicology at The University of California, Los Angeles!
Dr. Schwartz holds the PhD in Ethnomusicology from New York University, where she completed a dissertation entitled: "Resonances of the Atomic Age: Hearing the Nuclear Legacy in the United States and the Marshall Islands, 1945-2010," advised by Prof. Jairo Moreno. She has published articles in, among other places, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society,Women and Music, and Music&Politics. Dr. Schwartz is also the founder of the Marshallese Educational Initiative, Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to expanding educational opportunities for Marshallese and raising awareness of Marshallese issues.
Lauren Flood (Ethnomusicology) has been awarded a dissertation completion fellowship for 2014-15 from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation. The title of her dissertation is "Building and Becoming: DIY Music Technology in New York and Berlin," and it is sponsored by Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa.
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates Dr. Jonathan "Toby" King (PhD, Ethnomusicology, 2014), who has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music at The University of North Carolina at Asheville! Dr. King's dissertation is entitled "Implications of Contemporary Bluegrass Music Performance at and around a New York City Jam Session," and it is sponsored by Prof. Aaron Fox. Dr. King defended his dissertation on June 2, 2014. We congratulate him for that as well!
Professor Kevin Fellezs will be giving the 2014 Woody Guthrie Distinguished Lecture at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, US Branch (IASPM-US) annual conference on Saturday, March 15, 2014, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Fellezs's talk is titled "What Is This 'Black' In Japanese Popular Music? (Re)Imagining Race in a Transnational Polycultural Context," which focuses on his research of Black American musicians enjoying success in Japan in enka and J-Pop, two genres strongly associated with Japanese-ness, complicating conventional ideas linking identity, nationality, race, and genre.
The Center for Ethnomusicology congratulates Professor Ellen Gray on the publication of her book Fado Resounding: Affective Politics and Urban Life (Duke
University Press). This ethnography of fado, Portugal's most celebrated
popular music genre, shows how a musical genre can sediment, circulate,
and transform affect, sonorously rendering history and place as soulful
and feeling as public.
The book's introduction is currently available for preview and free download on Scribd.
"Lila Ellen Gray positions Lisbon's amateur fado scene
in terms of all the contestation about what fado is and where the
action is taking place. This positioning is a unique and valuable
contribution to music ethnography, and Gray does major and convincing
intellectual work arguing for 'amateur' scenes as paths into the deepest
musical and ethnographic understandings of genre, style, performance,
poesis, and the ways that sociality is lived and experienced through
sound."—Steven Feld, author of Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra: Five Musical Years in Ghana
in the USA can receive a 20% discount on the book when ordering
directly from Duke University Press (use code P13GRAY at checkout).
In Europe, the book is available through Combined Academic Publishers with a 30% discount (use the code CS1113FADO).
In Lisbon, the book is available at the bookstore Fabula Urbis:
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The Center for Ethnomusicology congratulates Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD candidate Adam Kielman,
who has won three prestigious prizes for papers presented at academic
conferences, in addition to a major research fellowship (Fulbright DDRA)
for his work in China.
The prizes awarded to Mr. Kielman include: The Hewitt Pantaleoni Prize
-- Awarded by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society of
Ethnomusicology (MACSEM) for the best student paper presented at their
annual meeting held March 23-24, 2013 in Richmond, VA. Paper title: "
'Sounds like Home': Language and Place in Guangzhou's Modern Folk."The Martin Hatch Award
-- Awarded by the Society for Asian Music (SAM) for the best student
paper on Asian music presented at the annual Society for Ethnomusicology
national meeting held November 1-4, 2012 in New Orleans, LA. Paper
title: "Xiandai Minyao: 'Modern Folk' in Guangzhou."The Barbara Barnard Smith Prize
-- Awarded by the Association for Chinese Music Research (ACMR) to
recognize an outstanding student paper in the field of Chinese music,
broadly defined, presented at the annual Society for Ethnomusicology
national meeting held November 1-4, 2012 in New Orleans, LA. Paper
title: "Xiandai Minyao: 'Modern Folk' in Guangzhou."
Kielman, who is also an alumnus of Columbia College (EALAC major, LAJPP
performer), has also just successfully defended his doctoral
dissertation proposal, entitled "Sounding Configurations of Difference
in Postsocialist China." He is preparing to depart for field research
in China with support from a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation
Research Abroad Fellowship, awarded in September 2013.
Congratulations to Mr. Kielman!
The Center congratulates PhD program alumna Prof. Amanda Minks (University of Oklahoma, PhD in Ethnomusicology, 2006), who has just published Voices of Play: Miskitu Children's Speech and Song on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua with the University of Arizona Press' First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies series (2013).
While indigenous languages have become prominent in global political and educational discourses, limited attention has been given to indigenous children's everyday communication. Voices of Play is a study of multilingual play and performance among Miskitu children growing up on Corn Island, part of a multi-ethnic autonomous region on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua.
Corn Island is historically home to Afro-Caribbean Creole people, but increasing numbers of Miskitu people began moving there from the mainland during the Contra War, and many Spanish-speaking mestizos from western Nicaragua have also settled there. Miskitu kids on Corn Island often gain some competence speaking Miskitu, Spanish, and Kriol English. As the children of migrants and the first generation of their families to grow up with television, they develop creative forms of expression that combine languages and genres, shaping intercultural senses of belonging.
Voices of Play is the first ethnography to focus on the interaction between music and language in children's discourse. Minks skillfully weaves together Latin American, North American, and European theories of culture and communication, creating a transdisciplinary dialogue that moves across intellectual geographies. Her analysis shows how music and language involve a wide range of communicative resources that create new forms of belonging and enable dialogue across differences. Miskitu children's voices reveal the intertwining of speech and song, the emergence of "self" and "other," and the centrality of aesthetics to social struggle.
Amanda Minks is Associate Professor in the Honors College and is affiliated with the Department of Anthropology and with the programs in Native American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at Oklahoma University. She earned the PhD in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University in 2006.
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