Ethnomusicology Forum: Alex E. Chávez (Anthropology, Notre Dame)

Event Date: 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 3:30pm to 4:45pm

Event Date Details: 

Event Location: 

  • Music Room 1145 (UCSB)

Event Price: 

Free (open to the public)

Event Contact: 

Adriane Hill
Marketing and Communications Manager
UC Santa Barbara Department of Music
(805) 893-3230
Alex E. Chávez
 
Dr. Alex E. Chávez (Anthropology, University of Notre Dame) will present a talk titled "Verses and Flows: Migrant Lives and the Sounds of Crossing" on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 from 3:30-4:45 pm in Music Room 1145. Dr. Chávez will cover his new ethnography of Huapango music and US-Mexico border migration, Sounds of Crossing: Music, Migration, and the Aural Poetics of Huapango Arribeño (Duke 2017). Co-sponsored by the Department of Music's Ethnomusicology and Musicology/Theory forums, the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music (CISM), and the Department of Anthropology.

Abstract: "Verses and Flows: Migrant Lives and the Sounds of Crossing"

In his book Sounds of Crossing: Music, Migration, and the Aural Poetics of Huapango Arribeño (Duke 2017), Dr. Alex E. Chávez explores the contemporary politics of Mexican migrant cultural expression manifest in the sounds and aural poetics of huapango arribeño, a musical genre originating from north-central Mexico. In this presentation, he draws on this work to address how Mexican migrants voice desires of recognition and connection through performance, and the politics such desires attain amidst the transnational context of migrant deportability. As a researcher, artist, and participant, Chávez has consistently crossed the boundary between scholar and performer in the realms of academic research and publicly engaged work as a musician and producer. In this presentation, he draws on these experiences to address the politics of his intellectual and creative work and how he engages both to theorize around the political efficacy of sound-based practices, the “voice,” and the disciplinary futures of borderlands anthropology.

Bio

Ethnographer-composer-academic-musician, Alex E. Chávez is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and a faculty fellow of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His research and teaching explore Latina/o/x expressive culture in everyday life as manifest through sound, language, and performance. He has consistently crossed the boundary between performer and ethnographer in the realms of both academic research and publicly engaged work as an artist and producer. He is the author of Sounds of Crossing: Music, Migration, and the Aural Poetics of Huapango Arribeño (Duke University Press 2017) and produced the Smithsonian Folkways album Serrano de Corazón (2016). He has published in various academic journals, including the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Latino StudiesLatin American Music Review, and Southern Cultures, has contributed to the prominent volumes Making Sense of Language (2016), Latino, American, Dream (2016), Iconic Mexico (2015), and Celebrating Latino Folklore (2012), and his writing has been featured in public venues such as the Huffington Post and Revista Contratiempo. An accomplished musician and multi-instrumentalist, Chávez has recorded and toured with his own music projects, composed documentary scores (most recently Emmy Award-winning El Despertar [2016]), and collaborated with acclaimed artists including Antibalas, Grammy Award-winners Quetzal and Grupo Fantasma, and Latin Grammy Award-nominated Sones de México. He is currently co-editing a volume provisionally titled Latina/o/x Aesthetics in the Global Midwest—a project that grows out of a collaborative research grant funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He is also curating the liner notes for the forthcoming 8th studio album by Quetzal, which is to be released on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. In addition, he is currently co-producing the 4th studio album by hip-hop artist Olmeca. And in Spring 2019, he will be co-chairing an Advanced Seminar at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico—Ethnographies of Contestation and Resilience in Latinx America. Learn more at aechavez.com.

 

Alex E. Chávez