Musicology Colloquium
The University of New Mexico Department of Music and The Latin American and Iberian Institute
Thursday April 2, 2020
Latin American and Iberian Institute Conference Room

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.

Deborah R. Vargas is Associate Professor and The Henry Rutgers Term Chair in Comparative Sexuality, Gender, and Race in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University. Vargas is currently at work on two manuscripts, “Brown Soul: On Blackness and the Cultural Politics of Chicanidad” and “Americanish: Linda Ronstadt’s Brown Sound.” Vargas has contributed a number of oral histories with Chicana singers to the Smithsonian Institute’s Latino Music Oral History Project and is a member of the editorial boards of Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture and Latino Studies.

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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.

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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