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Department of Anthropology
5 The Green
Medford, MA 02155
Professor Emeritus, Anthropology and American Studies
Ph.D., Cornell University
Subjects of interest
Popular music studies, comparative Latino studies, community studies
Spanish Caribbean Latinos in the US; Latin America and the Caribbean, with specialty in the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Cuba
Rockefeller Foundation conference grant at Bellagio Study and Conference Center (Principal Organizer), "Rockin' Las Americas: The Global Politics of Rock in Latin America, American Philosophical Society General Grant (Project title: "Music of the African Diaspora in Contemporary Cuba"), National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers. (Project title: "A view from the south: Spanish Caribbean perspectives on world beat and African cultural identity")
Scholarship & Research
My research has employed Latin/o American popular music as a lens for examining the complex relationships between expressive culture and socio-cultural changes activated by, and occuring at, the intersections of class, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender and generation. These explorations have been less concerned with music as an artifact than as a social activity, whose expressive forms—and their meanings—are always shaped by the specificities of cultural context and the particular kinds of social inter-connectivity in which music making necessarily happens. I have explored these themes through fieldwork in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Colombia, as well as within their diasporan communities in the United States, documenting and interpreting the circulation of a range of musical genres including (but not limited to) bachata, merengue, salsa, cumbia, reggaeton, rock and rap. My approach is comparative and cross-regional, analyzing the musical practices of local communities not in isolation, but rather in relation to other proximate groups, and always in relationship to global cultural flows and transnational circuits. These research interests also inform my teaching, which has focused on unpacking the diversity of U.S. Latino communities in the United States—including those residing in the city of Somerville, in which I both live and work.
Books, special issues and monographs
Oye Como Va! Hybridity and Identity in Latino Popular Music. Temple University Press, 2010
Reggaeton, co-edited with Raquel Z. Rivera and Wayne Marshall, Duke University Press, 2009.
Rockin' Las Americas: The Global Politics of Rock in Latin/o America, co-edited with Eric Zolov and Hector Fernandez L'Hoeste, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004.
Bachata: A Social History of a Dominican Popular Music, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995.
The Politics and Aesthetics of Transnational usics, co-edited (with Veit Erlmann), special issue of The World of Music 35 (2), International Institute for Traditional Music, 1993.
Coca and Cocaine: Effects on People and Policy in Latin America, co-edited with Christine Franquemont, Cultural Survival, 1986.
Resource Development and Indigenous People: The Case of the El Cerrejón Coal Project in Guajira, Colombia, Cultural Survival #15, 1984.
Recent journal articles and book chapters
"Dominicans in the Mix: Reflections on Dominican Identity, Race and Reggaeton." In Reggaeton, co-edited with Raquel Rivera and Wayne Marshall, Duke University Press, 135-164, 2009.
"Reggaeton's Socio-Sonic Circuitry" (co-authored with Wayne Marshall and Raquel Z. Rivera). In Reggaeton, Duke University Press, 1-16, 2009.
"The Name Game: Locating Latinas/os, Latins, and Latin Americans in the US Popular Music Landscape." In A Companion to Latino Studies, edited by Juan Flores and Renato Rosaldo, Blackwell Publishers, 49-59, 2007.
"Quiet Crisis: A Community History of Latinos in Cambridge, Massachusetts." In Latinos in New England, edited by Andres Torres, Temple University Press, 149-169, 2006.
"Sound Systems, World Beat and Diasporan Identity in Cartagena, Colombia." Published electronically in Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, 2005. (Reprinted from Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies vol. 5, no. 3, 1996, University of Toronto Press, 429-466).
"The Emergence of Rap Cubano: An Historical Perspective." In Music, Space and Race: Popular Music and Cultural Identity, edited by Sheila Whitely, Ashgate Publishing, 89-107, 2004. (Reprinted from original, "Hip Hop in Havana: Rap, Race and National Identity in Contemporary Cuba" (co-authored with Reebee Garofalo), Journal of Popular Music Studies vol.11/12, 1999/2000, 18-47.)
"Mapping rock music cultures across the Americas." (Introduction to Rockin' Las Americas: The Global Politics of Rock in Latin/o America, co-authored with Eric Zolov and Hector Fernandez L'Hoeste), University of Pittsburgh Press, 1-21.
"Between Rock and a Hard Place: Negotiating Rock in Revolutionary Cuba, 1960-1980" (co-authored with Reebee Garofalo). In Rockin' Las Americas: Rock Music Cultures across Latin/o America, co-edited with Eric Zolov and Hector Fernandez L'Hoeste, University of Pittsburgh Press, 43-67, 2004.
"Cantando la cama vacía: Love, Sexuality and Gender Relationships in Dominican bachata." In Popular Music: Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies, vol. 1, edited by Simon Frith, Routledge, 2004. (Reprinted from Popular Music 9 (3), 1990, 351-367).
"Amalgamating Musics: Popular Music and Cultural Hybridity in the Americas." In Musical Migrations: Transnationalism and Cultural Hybridity in Latin/o America, edited by Frances Aparicio and Candida J�quez, Palgrave/MacMillan, 13-32, 2003.
"Race, ethnicity and the production of Latin/o popular music." In Global Repertoires: Popular Music Within and Beyond the Transnational Music Industry, edited by Alfred Smudits and Andreas Gebesmair, Ashgate Publishing, 57-72, 2002.
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