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THE GAY WEST: FROM DRUG STORE COWBOYS TO RODEO QUEENS

Talk Description: The masculine ideal represented by the American cowboy is variously interpreted by spectators, dancers, musicians, and contestants at gay rodeos and country western dances across the U.S. Examining embodied gender practices within these communities, this talk articulates the sonic, social, and geographical spaces of the gay American West.

 

Biography: Kate Alexander received her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Riverside in 2014. Her research focuses on intersections of whiteness, gender, and sexuality in North American music and dance communities, including Cape Breton’s traditional Scottish culture, and her current research on American LGBTQ country western dance and rodeo networks. Her work has been published in journals such as MUSICulturesand the Yearbook for Traditional Music. She is an Assistant Professor in the Honors College at the University of Arizona, where she teaches interdisciplinary courses on sound, music, visual art, and culture.

You Can’t Tell It Like I Can: Black Women, Music, and the Struggle for Social Justice in America

You Can’t Tell It Like I Can: Black Women, Music, and the Struggle for Social Justice in America

This lecture/performance explores how black women have used music as a method of shaping the public rhetoric and sentiment surrounding the black civil rights struggle in America. Through a historical framework that moves through the height of the abolitionist movement, the Popular front during the 1930s and 1940s, the frontlines of the direct action campaigns of the 1960s, and the proliferation of the Black Power movement in the 1970s.

An Americanish Songbook: Linda Ronstadt’s “other” Country

An Americanish Songbook: Linda Ronstadt’s “other” Country

This talk will consider performances and recordings by singer Linda Ronstadt to propose what I refer to as her Americanish musical songbook. The suffix “ish” here intends to accentuate the “somewhat” or “to some extent” of “American” that Ronstadt—Tucson born and raised—lived and sonically imagined through her extraordinary musical career.

Arab Musicking on the U.S.–Mexico Border

Arab Musicking on the U.S.–Mexico Border

This talk explores the relationship between trauma and identity by examining Arab music performance on the U.S.–Mexico border. Drawing on the musicking of Syrian and Mexican migrant communities, I interrogate theories of cultural and psychological trauma and borderland epistemologies to explore how border tensions influence the often-fraught views of identity.

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