The Music, Language, and Culture Workshop

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.

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