Kristina Jacobsen-Bia holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University, where she wrote a dissertation titled, “Navajo Voices: Country Music and the Politics of Language and Belonging.” She also holds the MPhil in Ethnomusicology from Columbia University, a Master’s in Ethnomusicology from Arizona State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music (flute performance) and History (concentration: Native North America).
Based on 2 ½ years of singing and playing with Navajo county western bands, her dissertation examines ideas of authenticity and Navajo identity as they circulate in and through live performances of classic country music on today’s Navajo (Diné) Nation (for a brief interview about her research, visit: http://vimeo.com/36693503). Her research interests include: music and language, anthropology of the voice, politics of authenticity, indigeneity and belonging, music of Native North America and the Appalachian mountains, race and musical genre, music as cultural performance, indigenous language revitalization and American working class expressive culture. Recent articles include “Rita(hhh): Placemaking and Country Music on the Navajo Nation” (Ethnomusicology, 2009) and “Radmilla’s Voice: Music, Belonging and Blood Quantum in Navajo Country” (currently under review).
Kristina has taught courses in linguistic anthropology, Native American Studies, ethnomusicology and cultural anthropology at Duke University, Diné College and Northern Arizona University (to learn more about her teaching please visit: http://www.kristina-jacobsen.com/.
An active singer-songwriter, Kristina fronts the classic country band, “The Merlettes,” and plays lap steel and acoustic guitars. Links to her original songs and CV can be found, below.