Music and Poetics as Political Action

With a Performance by Sol y Canto

Music and related performance genres are often understood as expressions or conveyances of previously formulated political opinions and positions. This roundtable brought together scholars and performers to consider the ways in which music and other modes of expressive culture can be understood as direct forms of political action, through which the political is not simply represented but actively constituted.

Genres discussed included popular protest songs in southern Africa, the blues of the Mississippi Delta, hip hop and contemporary word music, civil rights oratory, and the nueva canción tradition. The use of music as an instrument of terror and violence in the context of torture and interrogation was also a topic of conversation.

Members of the acclaimed Afro-Latin musical group Sol y Canto joined in the roundtable, giving a live performance of their music after the discussion had concluded.

Click here to read more about Sol y Canto in an article from the Daily News Tribune in Waltham. (PDF format)

Participants in this event included: Mark Auslander, Jamele Adams, Mingus Mapps, Cynthia Cohen, Amanda Daly, Harleen Singh, Doris Sommer, Rosi Amador and Brian Amador.

Presented by the M.A. Program in Cultural Production and MusicUnitesUs.