The Music, Language, and Culture Workshop

January 17, 2016
by Joe

January 21: Will Buckingham

This week’s workshop features Doctoral Candidate in Ethnomusicology Will Buckingham. He will be presenting his paper “‘Tienes que conocer la décima’: Ethnic Identity and Spanish Ballad in St Bernard Parish, Louisiana.” The abstract for this paper is posted below.


We will meet in our regular place at our regular time: ThursdayJan 21, 4:30-6:00pm in Godspeed Hall, Room 205. As always, our workshop is open to the public, and all are welcome.


This chapter presents a music history of the Louisiana décima, tracing its contested ontologies and role in defining, representing, and negotiating Isleño identity from the earliest available historical sources through theethnographic present. I ask how and why this genre of song has maintained such an integral place in the imagination of Isleño identity as I try to present this history coherently, while keeping much of its richness and complexity intact. To that end, rather than suggesting an essential, unitary understanding of the décima, I explore a variety of positions,conceptualizing the décima as a polysemous discursive category engaged by diverse agents in different times and circumstances.


You can access the paper via our “downloads” page (see the link bar above). E-mail for the password.

January 12, 2016
by Joe

January 14: Rehanna Kheshgi

Our first workshop meeting of the quarter, this Thursday, Jan 14, features Doctoral Candidate in Ethnomusicology Rehanna Kheshgi. She will be presenting her paper “Performing Youthful Desires: The Gabhoru Body as Creative Force in Assam, India.“ The abstract for this paper is posted below.


We will meet in our regular place at our regular time: Thursday, Jan 14, 4:30-6:00pm in Godspeed Hall, Room 205. As always, our workshop is open to the public, and all are welcome.


Recent studies of popular culture, globalization, and gender in South Asia have recognized the importance of critically engaging with youth culture as a site for debating social values and shaping subjectivities. But few move beyond cosmopolitan centers to incorporate experiences of young people in rural areas. In this talk, I follow a group of young performers from the village courtyard to the proscenium stage, exploring their participation in fertility rituals for agricultural prosperity and aestheticized competitions associated with the springtime bihu festival celebrated in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. Bihu festival songs narrate romantic encounters between women and men, offering a set of stock characters for young people to take on through performance. Intimate and illicit encounters that happen during bihu inspire a shared romantic drama that unfolds in village courtyards, on festival stages, and on television screens across the state of Assam. I argue that the blurring of onstage and offstage personas creates opportunities for young performers to experiment with socially determined boundaries of gender and sexuality, but this freedom also constitutes a context in which young women (gabhoru) are especially vulnerable to threats of bodily harm.

January 10, 2016
by Joe

Winter Quarter 2016 Schedule

Happy New Year! We are pleased to announce our presenters for the winter quarter (see below). Please note that all workshops, unless otherwise indicated, will be held on Thursdays at 4:30pm in Rm. 205, Goodspeed Hall (1010 E 59th St., Chicago, IL 60637).


Winter Quarter Schedule:


January 14: UofC graduate student Rehanna Kheshgi

“Performing Youthful Desires: The Gabhoru Body as Creative Force in Assam, India”


January 21: UofC graduate student Will Buckingham

“The Louisiana Décima and the Isleño Heritage Revival”


February 4: UofC graduate student Genevieve Dempsey

“‘There in the Sky is Santa Maria’: The Sound of Gender in Afro-Brazilian Sacred Rituals”


Also of interest to EthNoise! attendees: Jewish Studies Workshop on Feb 8, 4:30-6:00:

Mili Leitner (UofC graduate student) presents “Reviving a Mythical Past: Understanding the Klezmer Revival Movement Through Its Album Art”


February 11: Edwin Seroussi (Emanuel Alexandre Professor of Musicology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)


February 18: Inna Naroditskya (Professor of Musicology at Northwestern University)


March 3: Nadine Hubbs (Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Music Theory at the University of Michigan)

Special session in collaboration with the Music History/Theory Workshop. Location: Logan Center, Rm. 801 (day and time are the same as usual)