How do national discourses on race shape our understanding of music and music history? By the end of the 19th century, Argentine nationalist discourse asserted the absolute disappearance of people of color from the country. This narrative led not only to the denial of Afro-diasporic roots of the tango, Buenos Aires’ most famous popular music, but also the alleged impossibility of an authentically Argentine jazz. Drawing from critical race studies and recent interdisciplinary interventions into the history and discourse on race in Argentina, this talk will explore the manner in which Argentine racial discourse has influenced the popular music histories of tango and Argentine jazz, as well as the performance traditions of these musics.
Eric Johns is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at the University of California, Riverside. His work examines the political and ethical implications of gaps and errors in works of music history and how hegemonic discourses inform, and are reinforced by, narratives of music history.
- Pomona College
- Oldenborg Center
- 350 N. College Way