SO! Reads: Kirstie Dorr’s On Site, In Sound: Performance Geographies in América Latina
“World Music,” both as a concept and as a convenient marketing label for the global music industry, has received a fair deal of deserved criticism over the last two decades, from scholars and musicians alike. In his famous 1999 op-ed, David Byrne wrote that the term is “a none too subtle way of reasserting the hegemony of Western pop culture. It ghettoizes most of the world’s music.” Ethnomusicologists have aldo challenged the othering power of this term, inviting us to listen to “worlds of music” and “soundscapes” as the culture of particular places and times, suggesting that these sonic encounters with difference might teach “us” (in “the West”) to consider how our own musical worlds are situated in social and historical processes.
While this has been an important move toward recognizing the multiplicity of musicking practices (rather than reinforcing a monolithic “Other” genre), the study of “musical cultures” runs the risk of territorializing musical “traditions.” Linking them to geographically delineated points of origin, nations or homelands that are made to seem natural, fixed, or timeless often overlooks the heterogeneity of places, essentializing the people who make and listen to music within, across, and in relation to their ever-changing borders. The challenge for music critics and scholars has been–and still is–to delegitimize the alienating broad brush of the “world music” label without resorting to a classification system that reifies music production and circulation into exotic genres or fetishized “local” traditions.
In her 2018 book, On Site, In Sound: Performance Geographies in América Latina(Duke University Press), Kirstie A. Dorr demonstrates a method for conceptualizing relations between music and space while avoiding the pitfalls of colonial and capitalist definitions of “culture” and “identity.” She takes the term “performance geography” from Sonjah Stanley Niaah, whose discussion of Jamaican dancehall employs this analytic as “a mapping of the material and spatial conditions of performance: entertainment and ritual in specific sites/venues, types and systems of use, politics of their location in relations to other sites and other practices, the character of events/rituals in particular locations, and the manner in which different performances/performers relate to each other within and across different cultures” (Stanley Niaah 2008: 344). Dorr looks at “musical transits” rather than musical cultures, focusing on the politics and relations within sound and performance across South America and its diasporas; one particular relation serves as the central argument of the book: “that sonic production and spatial formation are mutually animating processes” (3).
Three conceptual frames help Dorr follow the musical flows that push against national and regional boundaries sounded by the global music industry: listening, a form of attention toward the interplay of sensory content, form, and context; musicking, or conceptualizations of music-making in terms of relationships and creative practices, rather than the musical “works” they produce and commodify; and performance as “a technique of action/embodiment that. . .potentially reshapes social texts, relationships, and environments” (14-16). Through close listenings to performances in Peru, San Francisco, and less emplaced sites such as YouTube and the “Andean Music Industry,” Dorr makes a strong case for performance geographies as creative decolonial strategies, both for participants in musical transits and for scholars who imagine and invent the boundaries and trajectories of musicking practices.
Nearly a century after Peru won its independence from Spain, limeño playwright Julio Baudouin debuted El Cóndor Pasa, a two-act play promoting national unity through a tale of indigenous miners in a struggle against their foreign bosses. The play’s score, composed by musician and folklorist Daniel Alomía Robles, weaves Peruvian highland music into Western-style arrangements and instrumentation, and was widely received by its 1913 audience as the sound of what Peru was to become: a modern nation firmly rooted in the cultures of its indigenous peoples.
In the century that followed, the score’s homonymous ballad has been interpreted and recorded by countless artists around the world. Easily the most well-known rendition of this famous melody is Simon and Garfunkel’s “El Cóndor Pasa (If I Could),” (1970) which Dorr credits with catalyzing a Latin American music revival as well as spurring on a wave of Euro-American musicians and producers who collaborated with and brought into the international spotlight a number of groups who otherwise would have remained in relative obscurity. The tendency to see these projects as the work of (typically white) Westerners “discovering” and “saving” or paternalistically “curating” the dying musical cultures of the world, Dorr suggests, is part and parcel of a World Music concept that frames “primitive” traditions as fair game for extraction and appropriation into innovative sonic hybrids.
The “exotica” category follows the same logic, as the case of Yma Sumac illustrates. From the beginning of her career in the early 1940s with el Conjunto Folklórico Peruano to her 1971 psychedelic version of “El Cóndor Pasa,” Sumac’s vocal versatility and stylistic experimentations map out an experience of Andean indigeneity that Dorr hears in stark contrast to the narratives of the global music industry. While Capitol Records performed their own geography via their marketing of this sexualized “Incan princess,” the singer strategically composed her own sonic-spatial imaginary, not rejecting the difference suggested by “exotica,” but by synthesizing a “space-age” modern aesthetic with traditional songs. Dorr challenges us to listen to Sumac’s “El Cóndor Pasa” against Simon’s arrangement, thinking of her performative dissonances as disruptions of “the static geotemporal imaginaries of ‘authentic indigeneity’ that have most often informed the ballad’s deployment” (59).
If Chapter One makes a case for performance’s potential to shape notions of place and time, Chapter Two explores “spatial(ized) relations of musicking” (68) through a broader consideration of market strategies and the politics of sound in public space. Putumayo serves as another classic example of the global music industry’s pandering to multicultural idealism, promoting itself as “lifestyle company” that brings conscious capitalism into the curation of musical worlds. Dorr keeps her critique of Putumayo rather brief, but uses it as a convincing contrast for the focus of this chapter: the informal streams of economic activity and performance that she calls the “Andean music industry” (AMI). Among other examples from transnational and virtual “sites,” the Andean bands that performed in San Francisco’s Union Square throughout the 1990s demonstrate how performance geographies can challenge state and capitalist power while simultaneously running parallel to the marketing and distribution practices of the world music industry.
The AMI story is one of migration and the formation of a pan-Andean diaspora, of busking and bootlegging tactics that tested the boundaries of zoning and noise regulations as well as California’s immigration and labor policies, and of transposing music networks onto the internet when public performance became too precarious. It is also another case of dissonance, in which musicians willfully use their own cultural difference to their advantage, but not without consequences for poor musicians in South America; a telling example is the “Music of the Andes” CD, a mass-produced compilation used by various groups who, instead of having to record and press their own albums, could simply print their own covers for the Putumayoesque compilation and sell them to their none-the-wiser U.S. audiences (84).
But if the diasporic politics of the AMI came up short in challenging a monolithic representation of “Andean culture” or in highlighting the dynamic transits of Andean fusions such as chicha and Nueva Canción, the daily performances of street musicians in the race- and class-ordered Union Square support Dorr’s argument about the co-constitutive relationship between sound and space: “This unmediated display of embodied and sonic ‘otherness’ threatened the coherence of the square’s representational function by converting it into a spectacle of work and play for a population upon whose concealed labor the economic foundations of California’s wealth largely depend: undocumented migrant workers from the global South” (81).
Elsewhere in 1990s San Francisco, musicians, artists, and activists formed a collective that, like the busking Andean groups, challenged dominant notions of public and private space while performing its own transnational and migratory experiences of Latinidad. In Chapter 4, Dorr relates the story of La Peña del Sur, a grassroots organization in the Mission District and, like the many anti-imperialist peñas popular throughout Latin America since the 1960s, a space for artists to perform or display their work for local audiences. While this peña provided a community for undocumented immigrants and local residents threatened by gentrification, it also served as an unsettling force against the sort of geographies that separate “queer space” from “heterosexual space” without regard for how these neighborhoods are also classed and racialized.
The founder and director of La Peña del Sur, Chilean exile Alejandro Stuart, was among several queer community members whose efforts constituted their shared space as a challenge to normative boundaries, a site for musicking that engendered dialogue among a wide range of people with divergent visions and motivations. Community organizers and students of cultural sustainability would do well to read Dorr’s account of this decade-long experiment that “enabled the exploration of sound-based solidarities rooted in the identification of common historical and political ground through improvisation and participatory performance” (168).
Between these two compelling tales of the dynamic relationship of sound and space in San Francisco, Chapter 3 explores the significance of race, nation, gender, and sexuality within the performance geographies of several Afro-Peruvian artists. Dorr traces the movements of performers and activists who challenged the colonial boundaries that framed blackness as “antithetical to the emergent nation” (111); unlike the indigenous traditions that could be appropriated for an imagining of Peru as modern yet firmly rooted in history, Afro-Peruvian bodies and sounds were treated as contaminants within the postcolonial order.
Listening to Black feminist performance geographies, from Peru’s Black Arts Revival in the ’60s and ’70s to the recent hemispheric collaborations of “global diva” Susana Baca, one can hear the formation of not only such racially imagined communities as “the coastal” and the “Afro-Latinx diaspora,” but also of “the body.” A powerful case of this latter sort of performance is heard in the lyrics and experiences of Victoria Santa Cruz, who, in her choreographed, cajón- and chorus-accompanied poem, “Me Gritaron Negra,” contests the ways in which “[t]he physical contours of her body – her lips and skin and hair – become a geography inscribed with social meaning, an ideological imposition intended to enact and legitimate her ongoing displacement” (121).
Santa Cruz’s pedagogical and performative practices, in particular, reveal why Dorr has chosen sound – and not only broader analytics of performance and musicking – as a central theme to explore in terms of its relation to places and bodies. While this book might leave a few sound studies scholars wanting more elaborate description of particular sonic phenomena or ethnographic consideration of how sound is imagined among Dorr’s interlocutors, a few examples in particular are keys to thinking about how sound signifies, and is signified by, racially mapped bodies and places.
Most intriguing here is a discussion of Santa Cruz’s 1971 book, Discovery and Development of a Sense of Rhythm, which outlines the artist’s approach to “listen[ing] with the body” and tuning in to “rhythm’s Afro-diasporic logics” (116). A pedagogy and practice developed well in advance of Henri Lefebvre’s theory of rhythmanalysis, Santa Cruz’s concept of ritmo–internal rhythm— deserves consideration alongside the work of Amiri Baraka, Jon Michael Spencer, Fred Moten, and Daphne Brooks as crucial for thinking about how Black aesthetics and diasporic sensibilities are cultivated through sound and capable of mobilizing new mappings of bodies and their worlds.
On Site, In Sound also calls for renewed thinking on sonic-spatial relations and the meanings that emerge from within them – how the sounds of particular Latin American voices and instruments come to be understood as masculine or feminine, indigenous or modern, exotic or local. Although “sound” as a specific performative or sensory medium might seem, at times, only one among many phenomena examined within the book’s threefold conceptual framing – listening, musicking, and performance – Dorr weaves it throughout her own performance geography where it takes on multiple forms and scales, challenging even the very boundaries defining what sound “is.” More importantly, this is a geography that scholars of “the sonic” or “music worlds” should read (and hear) as a reminder of sound’s unique ability to create and transcend boundaries – but rarely without a great deal of dissonance.
Featured Image: “Gabriel Angelo, Union Square,” by Flickr User Brandon Doran
Benjamin Bean is a PhD student in sociocultural anthropology at The University of California, Davis. His research interests include Afro-Caribbean music and sound, food and the senses, Puerto Rico, religion and secularism, and the Rastafari movement. During his undergraduate studies at Penn State Brandywine and graduate studies in cultural sustainability at Goucher College, Ben’s fieldwork focused on reggae music, the performativity of Blackness, and the Rastafari concepts of Word, Sound, and Power and I-an-I. His current fieldwork in Puerto Rico examines flavor, taste, and marketing in the island’s growing craft beer movement. Ben was formerly a vocalist and bass guitarist with the Philadelphia-based roots reggae band, Steppin’ Razor.
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Sound at ASA 2011
This year’s American Studies Association meeting in Baltimore, Maryland (October 19th-23rd) marks a real tipping point for Sound Studies within the interdisciplinary field of American Studies. First of all, there was the publication of Kara Keeling and Josh Kun’s co-edited special issue for American Quarterly, Sound Clash: Listening to American Studies, this past September 2011. Packed with 17 cutting-edge essays—culled from a record breaking 80+ submissions—this must-read issue is, according to Keeling and Kun’s introduction, “a sign not only of sound’s quantitative currency but the promise of its future as a field of ongoing inquiry, and its importance and relevance to the future of American Studies itself” (452). In addition to its vibrant blend of emerging scholars and senior folk, the issue is notable for its head-on engagement of sound and power in multiple, intersecting dimensions: race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and national identity. The issue’s intervention tracing the aural edge to U.S. citizenship privilege is especially important, and game-changing for both American Studies and Sound Studies. If you have access to Project Muse, you may download the entire issue (or selected essays) through this link here. The issue also kicks off a new audio-visual web interface for American Quarterly, and you can look here to see and hear more from several authors in the issue.
We at Sounding Out! are proud to be mentioned in the introduction to AQ’s Sound Clash and to have five members of Team SO! featured in the issue: yours truly, Editor-in-Chief and Guest Posts Editor Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman, and guest authors, D. Inés Casillas, Nina Eidsheim, Tara Rodgers, and Gayle Wald. Look for Sounding Out! posts in 2012 from more of the AQ special issue’s contributors, including Mack Hagood, D. Travers Scott, and Roshanak Kheshti. If you are headed down to B’more and you’d like to hear from many of these folks in person, American Quarterly is sponsoring a roundtable panel on Saturday, October 22nd, bright and early at 8:00 a.m. at the Hilton Baltimore Holiday Room 5. It will be moderated by Josh Kun (USC) and will feature Kara Keeling (USC), Asma Naeem (University of Maryland, College Park), Dustin Tahmahkera (Southwestern University), and Roshnak Kheshti (UCSD) as panelists. Look also for unscheduled guests to appear from the issue, such as Gayle Wald (George Washington) and myself (SUNY Binghamton)—ASA rules do not permit formal participation in more than one panel—and know that, despite the early tip-off time, Keeling and Kun will be taking full advantage of the session to give Sound Clash an enthusiastic and proper send off. Between now and then, I’ll be frantically figuring out how to clone myself, because a couple of the issue’s contributors, Tara Rodgers (University of Maryland) and Barry Shank (Ohio State), are unfortunately scheduled in two excellent competing sound studies panels that very morning (scroll down for full details)! Hopefully, when the ASA Sound Studies Caucus gets fully up and running, there will be less tortuously tantalizing research pile-ups like this one.
That’s right, I said the ASA Sound Studies Caucus. If the publication of the AQ special issue wasn’t awesome enough news, the word on the street is that next year, I may not have to do Sounding Out!’s beloved ASA conference pre-game round-up. Sound Studies is in the process of gaining that all-important indexing in the front of the American Studies Association conference program through the brand-new Sound Studies Caucus. Through ASA, the caucus is hoping to sponsor specific sound-related panels for forthcoming ASA meetings. This year’s reception is a planning session where interested parties can introduce themselves and become more involved in some of the caucus’s administrative tasks. The official meet up takes place on Saturday, October 22nd from 4-6 p.m. at the upstairs bar area of the Pratt Street Ale House (206 W. Pratt Street) and Team ASA SSC will be selling limited edition T-Shirts to fund raise for the group. Interested folks can join the Sound Studies Caucus Googlegroup in advance of the meeting and catch the latest breaking news.
The ASA Sound Studies Caucus came out of a 2010 working group of UC faculty called “Sounding Race” generously funded by a UC Humanities Research Institute Grant. The caucus centralizes race, gender, and sexuality to the study of sound and vice versa; in the words of their grant: “A new direction in sound studies suggests that sound, indeed, racializes, queers, and genders both the speaking subject as well as the listener.” The grant was authored by Deborah Vargas (UC Irvine), Roshanak Kheshti(UC San Diego), D. Inés Casillas (UC Santa Barbara and frequent Sounding Out! blogger), and Kevin Fellezs (formerly at UC Merced, now at Columbia University). We at Sounding Out! are thankful for their scholarship, enthusiasm, and their critical administrative labor; we look forward to hearing more from this collective both at the caucus meeting and at the sure-to-be-excellent roundtable: “ASA Committee on Ethnic Studies: Sounding Race” on Friday October 21st, at 10:00 a.m. in Hilton Baltimore Peale B. It will be moderated by Herman Grey (UC Santa Cruz) and will also include Kirstie Dorr (UC San Diego). Look for me at both events—I will be the one live-Tweeting furiously with a huge grin on my face, excited to be gathering with so many Sound Studies colleagues from across ASA’s many (inter)disciplines.
In addition, I will be representing Sounding Out! on a panel organized by Nicole Hodges Persley (University of Kansas) and sponsored by the American Studies Women’s Committee called “Digital Displays: Women Imagining Blogospheres as Alternative Public Spheres,” on Saturday, October 22nd from 2:00p.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the Hilton Baltimore Holiday Ballroom 4. I will be joining Tanya Golash-Boza (University of Kansas, author of the blog Get a Life, Ph.D), Judy Lubin (Howard University, author of the blog Judy Lubin’s Leading Voices) and Jamie Schmidt Wagman (Saint Louis University) in a conversation about the role and power of blogging in contemporary academic careers. In particular, my paper, “Sounding Off About Sounding Out!: Emerging Scholars in an Emerging Field” will focus on the mission and history of our blog and its interventions in the problem of access for women, junior scholars, and scholars of color. Sounding Out! will continue the conversation beyond Saturday afternoon by publishing excerpts from my paper post-ASA. We hope that you will join us, either in person or by contributing your thoughts and comments when that post eventually goes live.
Below you will find Sounding Out!’s picks for panels, papers, and events of interest to Sound Studies scholars at ASA 2011. We’d like to thank IASPM (the US branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music for compiling the Popular Music Panels a few weeks back and add that our version of course understands “sound” more broadly: you’ll find music panels among work on urban soundscapes, theorizations of listening, research on sound and space, sound and race, sound and citizenship, as well as new research in the digital humanities for those interested in blogging and other audio-visual technologies, methodologies, and pedagogies. In addition to panels, I have also copiously trolled through the program looking for events of interest to sound studies scholars as well as individual papers housed on panels not ostensibly or exclusively about sound (another important measure of the health, usefulness, and influence of Sound Studies methodology across the board). If you find that I have missed you—or have placed your paper here in error—drop me a line at email@example.com and I will rectify the situation ASAP.
Finally, I want to give a quick shout out to local organizations and research projects in Baltimore that study sound, both as a gambit for Sound Studies scholars at ASA to think about how to foster relationships with site-specific colleagues and professionals at this and future meetings, but also as a way of introduction (or a welcome back) to the city that we will live in and be a part of for a few precious days this week. Here are links to the Baltimore Soundscape Project, an interactive, collective soundmap facilitated by the private nonprofit group The Hearing and Speech Agency, which began in Baltimore in 1926 and functions as a “direct service provider, information resource center, and advocate for people of all ages and incomes who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech-language disabilities”; Baltimore Sounds, a website run by Joe Vaccarino, a local musician, writer, and restaurateur, “dedicated to the history of past and present pop musicians throughout the Baltimore regional area” that features an extensive “Big List” of all musicians and groups in the area between 1950 and 2000; and the enjoyable Sounds of the Baltimore Oriole for a ornithological taste of “wild” Baltimore beyond the built environment. Take a good listen and I’ll see you all very soon. For the virtual experience, look for my live tweets via our Facebook and Twitter pages or on the official ASA backchannel: #2011asa.
Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman is co-founder, Editor-in-Chief and Guest Posts Editor for Sounding Out! She is also Assistant Professor of English at Binghamton University and a Fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University.
Jump to THURSDAY, October 20
Jump to FRIDAY, October 21
Jump to SATURDAY, October 22
Jump to SUNDAY, October 23
2:00 pm – 3:45 pm
African American Soundscapes and Sound Theory, Hilton Baltimore Tubman B
CHAIR: Alexander Weheliye, Northwestern University (IL)
PAPERS: Anthony Reed, Yale University (CT), “Some Echo of Haunting Melody”: W.E.B. Du Bois’ Musical Modernity
Noelle Morrissette, University of North Carolina, Greensboro (NC), James Weldon Johnson’s Soundscape of Modernity: Black Manhattan
Benjamin S. Glaser, Cornell University (NY), “They require(d) of us a song”: Psalm 137 and the Negro Renaissance
Carter Mathes, Rutgers University, Newark (NJ), Narrative Acoustics: “Free” Writing Black Consciousness
Towards a Sensual Politics: Nation, Race, and Sense Perception, Hilton Baltimore Peale B
CHAIR: Todd Carmody, University of California, Berkeley (CA)
PAPERS: Britt Rusert, Temple University (PA), Fugitive Senses: Race and Empiricism in the Early Republic
Erica Fretwell, Duke University (NC), Sensitive Citizenship, Passing, and Other Nervous Conditions
Patrick Jagoda, University of Chicago (IL), How Videogames Think
COMMENT: Nihad Farooq, Georgia Institute of Technology (GA)
4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Folk, Pop, and Indie Rock: Race and Ethnicity in American Music, Hilton Baltimore Carroll B
CHAIR: Ulrich Adelt, University of Wyoming (WY)
PAPERS: Lorena Alvarado, University of California, Los Angeles (CA), Ambiguous Anthems: Narratives of the Immigrant Subject and Popular Music
Nicholas Francisco Centino, University of California, Santa Barbara (CA), Raza Rockabilly: Reclaimed Space, History, and Identity in Contemporary Los Angeles
Matthew Mace Barbee, Siena Heights University (MI), The Unseen Power of the Picket Fence: How Black Nationalism Created Indie Rock
Voicing a Riff: The Village Voice Music Section and Its Critical Legacy, Hilton Baltimore Johnson B
CHAIR: Eric Weisbard, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (AL)
PANELISTS: Joshua Clover, University of California, Davis (CA), Ann Powers, Independent Scholar, Greg Tate, Independent Scholar, Eric Weisbard, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (AL)
12:00 pm – 1:45 pm
Nijah N. Cunningham, Columbia University (NY), Strident Light, Radiant Sound: Reparation and Redress in a Flyer for a Forsaken Life, Reparative Justice and the Failures of Government, Hilton Baltimore Brent
4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Patricia Herrera, University of Richmond (VA), Sonic Memorials to Roberto Clemente, The Nuyorican Movement, Aesthetics, and Feminism, Hilton Baltimore Peale B
10:00 am – 11:45 am
Performative Black Christianity and the Logics of Religious Representation, Hilton Baltimore Holiday Ballroom 4
CHAIR: Daphne A. Brooks, Princeton University (NJ)
PAPERS: Ashon T. Crawley, Duke University (NC), Arthur, Crunch, and the Sound of Blackness in Baldwin’s Just Above My Head
Ronald Neal, Wake Forest University (NC), Spike Lee Can Go to Hell! Tyler Perry, Religion, and Southern Masculinity
Terrion L. Williamson, Michigan State University (MI), Juanita Bynum: Black Religiosity and the Making of a Good Christian Girl
COMMENT: Fred Moten, Duke University (NC)
Affective Histories, Critical Transformations: A Roundtable Discussion, Hilton Baltimore Latrobe
CHAIR: Jasbir K. Puar, Rutgers University, New Brunswick/Piscataway (NJ)
PANELISTS: Mel Y. Chen, University of California, Berkeley (CA), Dana Luciano, Georgetown University (DC), Robert McRuer, George Washington University (DC), Karen Tongson, University of Southern California (CA)
ASA Committee on Ethnic Studies I: Sounding Race, Hilton Baltimore Peale B
CHAIR: Herman S. Gray, University of California, Santa Cruz (CA)
PANELISTS: Deborah R. Vargas, University of California, Irvine (CA), Kirstie A. Dorr, University of California, San Diego (CA), Kevin Fellezs, Columbia University (NY), Dolores InÈs Casillas, University of California, Santa Barbara (CA), Herman S. Gray, University of California, Santa Cruz (CA)
12:00 pm – 1:45 pm
Musical Migrations, Political Transformations: Reassembling Caribbean Musics in the Post-War United States, Hilton Baltimore Johnson B
CHAIR: Brent Hayes Edwards, Columbia University (NY)
PAPERS: Alexandra Vazquez, Princeton University (NJ), Listening in the Cold War Years
Nadia Ellis, University of California, Berkeley (CA), From a Broken Bottle, Traces: Haunt and the Poetics of Diasporic Repair
Shane Vogel, Indiana University–Bloomington (IN), Madam Zajj and U.S. Steel: Duke Ellington’s Calypso Theatre
COMMENT: Brent Hayes Edwards, Columbia University (NY)
Transforming Scholarly Research in the Digital Age (Sponsored by the Digital Humanities Caucus), Hilton Baltimore Key Ballroom 09
CHAIR: Wendy Chun, Brown University (RI)
PANELISTS: A. Joan Saab, University of Rochester (NY), Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, University of Pennsylvania (PA), Tara McPherson, University of Southern California (CA), Mark Williams, Dartmouth College (NH)
2:00 pm – 3:45 pm
The Musical Imaginary: Race, Class, and Authenticity, Hilton Baltimore Paca A
CHAIR: Aldon Lynn Nielsen, Pennsylvania State University, University Park Main Campus (PA)
PAPERS: William Fulton, City University of New York, Graduate School (NY), Re-inventing Authenticity: Big Brother and the Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills as Haight-Ashbury Counterculture Statement
Sonnet Retman, University of Washington, Seattle (WA), Muddy the Waters: Other Stories of Love and Theft in the Making of the Delta Blues
Elizabeth Yeager, University of Kansas (KS), “Find[ing] myself a city to live in”: Middle Class American Imagination and Phish Scene Identity
Jack Hamilton, Harvard University (MA), Being Good Isn’t Always Easy: Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield and Janis Joplin in the 1960s
COMMENT: Danielle Heard, University of California, Davis (CA)
2:00 pm – 3:45 pm
Daylanne English, Macalester College (MN), ArchAndroids and Their Antecedents: The Roots of Janelle Monae’s Afrofuturistic Post-human, Afrofuturism, Hilton Baltimore Peale A
4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Marisol Negron, University of Massachusetts, Boston (MA), From Mambo to Hip Hop: (Re)Imagining ìNuyoricanî with HÈctor LaVoe and La Bruja, Imagining Latinidad and Citizenship in Popular Cultures, Hilton Baltimore Brent
Book Release Party for Karen Tongson (USC): Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries (NYU Press), 9:30 p.m. at Red Maple, 930 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, 21201
8:00 am – 9:45 am
American Quarterly Theme Session I: Sound in American Studies, Hilton Baltimore Holiday Ballroom 5
CHAIR: Josh Kun, University of Southern California (CA)
PANELISTS: Kara Keeling, University of Southern California (CA), Asma Naeem, University of Maryland, College Park (MD), Dustin Tahmahkera, Southwestern University (TX), Roshanak Kheshti, University of California, San Diego (CA)
**Other scholars appearing in the issue are invited to attend and participate. Confirmed attendance as of this posting: Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman, SUNY Binghamton (NY), Gayle Wald, George Washington University (DC)
Sounds of Response in the Age of Communicative Capitalism, Hilton Baltimore Key Ballroom 07
CHAIR: Travis Jackson, University of Chicago (IL)
PAPERS: Ruby Tapia, Ohio State University, Columbus (OH), Sonic Architectures of Memory: Digital Re-mixes and Structured Mournings at the Virtual WTC
Barry Shank, Ohio State University, Columbus (OH), Imagination and Transformation in Alarm Will Sound’s 1969
Shana Redmond, University of Southern California (CA), Manifold Music: On Markets and the Limits of Racial Exchange
COMMENT: Travis Jackson, University of Chicago (IL)
Automation or Imagination? Aesthetics and Politics in the History of Electrical Communication, Hilton Baltimore Holiday Ballroom 4
CHAIR: Patricia Ticineto Clough, City University of New York, Queens College (NY)
PAPERS: Mara Mills, New York University (NY), The Politics of Reading Machines, 1912–1971
Drew Daniel, Johns Hopkins University (MD), What Is a Digital Sound Object?
Tara Rodgers, University of Maryland, College Park (MD), The Liveliness of Synthesized Sound: From Helmholtz and Darwin to the Cybernetic Imagination
Orit Halpern, New School University (NY), The Autonomous Eye: Cybernetics, Perception, and Bio-politics
COMMENT: Patricia Ticineto Clough, City University of New York, Queens College (NY)
10:00 am – 11:45 am
Musical Lives and Imaginaries in B’More and the Chocolate City, Hilton Baltimore Carroll B
CHAIR: Lester Kenyatta Spence, Johns Hopkins University (MD)
PAPERS: Natalie Hopkinson, Independent Scholar, Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City
Al Shipley, Independent Scholar, Tough Breaks: The Story of Baltimore Club Music
Gavin Mueller, George Mason University (VA), The Ecology of Go-Go’s Informal Markets
COMMENT: Lester Kenyatta Spence, Johns Hopkins University (MD)
2:00 pm – 3:45 pm
ASA Women’s Committee: Digital Displays: Women Imagining Blogospheres as Alternative Public Spheres, Hilton Baltimore Holiday Ballroom 4
CHAIR: Nicole Hodges Persley, University of Kansas (KS)
PAPERS: Tanya Golash-Boza, University of Kansas (KS), How Academics Can Benefit from Blogging and How to Get Started
Judy Lubin, Howard University (DC), Reframing Shirley Sherrod: Black Women Bloggers and the Intersection of Race, Class and Gender
Jamie Schmidt Wagman, Saint Louis University (MO), A Woman’s Sphere: The Pill, The Net, and What’s Next
Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman, State University of New York, Binghamton (NY), Sounding off about Sounding Out!: Emerging Scholars in an Emerging Field
COMMENT: Nicole Hodges Persley, University of Kansas (KS)
4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Transforming Sound(s): A Reading and Discussion, Hilton Baltimore Tubman B
CHAIR: Jonathan Peter Moore, Duke University (NC)
PANELISTS: Mark McMorris, Georgetown University (DC), Nathaniel Mackey, Duke University (NC), Evie Shockley, Rutgers University, New Brunswick (NJ)
8:00 am – 9:45 am
Allison Perlman, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJ), Regulating the Color Line: Univision, Spanish Language Broadcasting, and Latino Speech Rights, Regulation, Citizenship, and Communication Technologies,Hilton Baltimore Armistead
10:00 am – 11:45 am
Jason William Loviglio, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (MD), Radio Free Baltimore: Neoliberal Transformation on the Local Public Airwaves, Behind The Wire, Hilton Baltimore Holiday Ballroom 6
Fran McDonald, Duke University (NC), Supreme Laughter: The Reparative Function of Laughter in the American Courtroom, Humor Studies Caucus: Humor as Reparation and Representation, Hilton Baltimore Key Ballroom 09
Lerone Martin, Eden Theological Seminary (MO), Play It Again!: The Phonograph and the Re-imagination, Reparation, and Transformation of Black Protestantism, 1925–1941, The Arts of African American Faith: Social Transformation and the Black Religious Imagination, Hilton Baltimore Peale B
12:00 pm – 1:45 pm
Felicidad Bliss Cua Lim, University of California, Irvine (CA), Audible/Visible: Racialized Stardom and Language in Philippine Cinema, American Quarterly Theme Session III: Visuality and Race, Hilton Baltimore Holiday Ballroom 5
2:00 pm – 3:45 pm
Clare Corbould, Monash University, Australia, Performance and the Oral History of Slavery: The WPA Ex-Slave Narratives of the Interwar Years, Imagined Spaces and Reparative Performances: Constructing Public Memory in the Americas, Hilton Baltimore Johnson B
James Deutsch, Smithsonian Institution, Hark the Noisy Streets: The Nineteenth-Century Sounds of Baltimore, The City and Its Spaces, Hilton Baltimore Peale C
4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Hishaam Aidi, Columbia University (NY), Hip Hop, Public Diplomacy and Indigenous Islam, Islamophobia: 10 Years after September 11, 2001, Hilton Baltimore Johnson A
8:00 am – 9:45 am
Business Meeting of the Science and Technology Caucus, Hilton Baltimore Chase
12:00 pm – 1:45 pm
Business Meeting of the Digital Humanities Caucus, Hilton Baltimore Stone
4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Business Meeting of the ASA Women’s Committee, Hilton Baltimore Chase
ASA Sound Studies Caucus Meeting, Pratt Street Ale House, 206. W. Pratt Street, Baltimore, 21201
10:00 am – 11:45 am
The Golden Years: Fifties TV and Radio, Hilton Baltimore Key Ballroom 07
CHAIR: Candace Moore, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (MI)
PAPERS: Benjamin Min Han, New York University (NY), Cold War Talent: Ethnic Performers, Music, and Variety Shows in 50s America
Susan Murray, New York University (NY), Colortown: NBC’s Investment in Color, 1950–1959
Christina Abreu, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (MI), From the Bronx to I Love Lucy: Lived and Televised Latinidad at the Tropicana Club in the 1950s
Patrick Roberts, National-Louis University (IL), Soul Machine: Agency and the Art of the Gimmick on Chicago R&B Radio, 1955–1963
COMMENT: Joel Dinerstein, Tulane University (LA)
Reparative Warhol, Hilton Baltimore Peale A
CHAIR: Eric Lott, University of Virginia (VA)
PAPERS: Jonathan Flatley, Wayne State University (MI), Liking and Likeness: Across the Color Line in Warhol
Homay King, Bryn Mawr College (PA), Moving On: Andy Warhol and the Exploding Plastic Inevitable
Gustavus Stadler, Haverford College in Pennsylvania (PA), Andy’s Wife: Fidelity and Faith in Warhol’s Aural Practices
COMMENT: Eric Lott, University of Virginia (VA)
10:00 am – 11:45 am
Albert Sergio Laguna, Columbia College (IL), Listening to Change: Radio, Humor, and the Future of Cuban Miami, Humor Studies Caucus: Ethnic Humor: Pleasures and Problems, Hilton Baltimore Key Ballroom 10
10:00 am – 11:45 am
Grace Wang, University of California, Davis (CA), Tiger Moms and Music Moms: On “Asian” Parenting; and Tamar Barzel, Wellesley College (MA), …pater le Punkeoisie—No Wave’s Queer and Jewish Interventions into Punk Rock’s Semiotic Terrain, Disciplining Gendered Bodies: The Strategic Performance of Ethnic Identity in Musical, Literary, and Visual Culture, Hilton Baltimore Peale C