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Full-Text Articles in Music

Soundscapes Of Disaster And Humanitarianism: Survival Singing, Relief Telethons, And The Haiti Earthquake, Elizabeth Mcalister Nov 2012

Soundscapes Of Disaster And Humanitarianism: Survival Singing, Relief Telethons, And The Haiti Earthquake, Elizabeth Mcalister

Division II Faculty Publications

This essay first listens, on one hand, to music made by Haitians, for Haitians, close to the epicenter, in the direct aftermath of the Haiti 2010 earthquake. On the other hand, it considers music made by (mostly) North Americans for (mostly) other Americans, in telethon performances far away in New York and Los Angeles and London, weeks after the event. I argue that Haitians used music, and particularly religious singing, self-reflexively, in a culturally patterned way, to orient themselves in time and space, and to construct a frame of meaning in which to understand and act in the devastated Haitian ...


Listening For Geographies: Music As Sonic Compass Pointing Towards African And Christian Diasporic Horizons In The Caribbean, Elizabeth Mcalister Feb 2011

Listening For Geographies: Music As Sonic Compass Pointing Towards African And Christian Diasporic Horizons In The Caribbean, Elizabeth Mcalister

Division II Faculty Publications

Can musical sounds reveal history, or collective identity, or new notions of geography, in different ways than texts or migrating people themselves? This essay offers the idea that the sounds of music, with their capacity to index memories and associations, become sonic points on a cognitive compass that orients diasporic people in time and space. Whereas researchers often focus on the national diasporas produced through the recent shifts and flows of globalization, I illustrate some of the limits of the concept of national and ethnic diaspora to understand how Caribbean groups form networks and imagine themselves to be situated. This ...