The Music, Language, and Culture Workshop

February 19 – Peter Manuel

Please join us on Thursday, February 19 for a paper and discussion with Peter Manuel. The paper is entitled “World Music and Activism Since the End of History (sic).” Please find an abstract below.

As always, we will meet at 4:30pm in Goodspeed 205. Our workshop is open to the public.



While the decline of protest music in the USA has often been noted, a global perspective reveals that progressive, activist protest musics occupied lively niches in many music cultures worldwide (e.g., of Jamaica, India, Spain, Latin America) during similar periods, roughly the 1950s-80s.  While on one level these music movements were embedded in particular socio-political movements, on a broader level they reflected an ardent commitment to the secular universalist ideals of the Enlightenment.  The subsequent dramatic decline of all these protest musics—roughly since Fukuyama’s much-debated “end of history”—reflects a broader transformation of global political climate.  This transformation has both salutary aspects—notably the spread of democracies—and dismaying ones, notably the decline of Enlightement metanarratives and their replacement by new tribalisms, which have found their own passionate expression in music.



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