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Music

Music

Elizabeth McAlister

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

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

Elizabeth McAlister

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 ...