Join us next week as we discuss the dissertation proposal materials of Lauren Eldridge and Chaz Lee! In this special session of the workshop, the time will be split between the two documents/presenters, with ample space to discuss each. As always, there will be food and drink to enjoy, along with vibrant discussion!
The documents are available on the download page of the website
(see the right sidebar of the page), with the password propose
NB: The workshop will take place in the room NEXT DOOR to the usual spot, in room 802 of Logan. Same bat time as usual, 4:30–6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23.
In music schools throughout Haiti, women perform pedagogy through participation in mizik klasik. This genre encompasses both compositions in the style of Western European art music and traditional Haitian melodies. As composers, teachers, performers, students, and archivists, these women offer a sonic counterpoint to a media narrative that defines Haiti as “the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.” They present Haiti as one of the first contemporary republics, among them the only nation governed in independence by formerly enslaved Africans. They also insist that Haitians are diverse in class position and religious affiliation, but that they share a rich cultural heritage. In this dissertation, I urge a close listening to a group heretofore subsumed in a mythically undifferentiated nation. I call attention to women who perform, teach, and learn mizik klasik, while negotiating a politics of respectability. I argue that they are rewriting mizik klasik by including themselves in its history, a history vital to modern perceptions of Haiti. They perform this pedagogical work through the gift of music.
I’m interested in the persistence of attachments to Western classical music in many places around the world. I think that what the category of the “classical” means is still up for grabs, especially as a mass-mediated and transnationally circulating aesthetic that overflows the bounds of a delimited canonic repertory and that can be found, for instance, in the soundtracks of different national cinemas, Korean, American, French, Indian, etc. One of my presuppositions is therefore that the persistence of the classical has not only to do with an attachment to specific musical content but also with the particular affective structure of that attachment. This structure pertains to how certain conventions come to be sensed and experienced as emphatically conventional through the affirmation of a shared space inhabited by subjects united in a common fantasy of being common. The pre-circulated case study is a first stab at giving this cosmopolitan generality a specific shape, to be followed by other close-readings and some fieldwork.
See you there!
Ana and Chelsea