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Friday, April 27 • 9:00am - 11:00am
Global South

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  1. Xavier Livermon  "Kwaito Futurity: New Directions in South African Music and Performance"
  2. Erin MacLeod "Them things wasn’t normal”: White Gyals, Dancehall and Jamaica"
  3. Ali Colleen Neff  "Mermaids Rising: Women, Water and Afrodiasporic Pop"
  4. Allen Thayer "Black Power and Masculinity in Brazilian Funk & Soul Music"
Moderator: Roshanak Kheshti

Across pop’s global landscape, gender dances with a host of other kinds of otherness: race and ethnicity, place and diaspora, and the non-binary nodes, performances and identities that come from alternative ways of understanding bodies and the relations between them.

Emerging global genres engage with, sometimes reproduce, and more often, critically trick back on the binaries that fall on conventional pop performativities. As we work from ethnographic ways of understanding musical movements that queer the masculine/feminine divide, we lift up the complicated intersections, hidden practitioners, and aesthetic undergrounds in which pop creativity flourishes across the Global South. In the folds of the music, we locate critiques of white capitalist colonial patriarchy: fissures in the entwined roots of gender, race, and power.

This panel shifts the paradigm to ask how gender complicates and is complicated by the global circulation of pop. In many of the traditions we work with, women have long held places of authority in musicmaking and fandom; in others, new movements of underclass youth have worked to configure alternative masculinities and emergent modes of queerness.

As collaborative researchers with musical communities throughout the Global South, we work to disrupt conventional approaches to understanding pop’s gender divide by offering intersectional models for approaching pop innovation and experimentation: the queer cosmopolitanisms of Johannesburg’s Gqom movement, the construction of Brazilian Afro-masculinity in 70’s funk, the queering figure of the African mermaid goddess as she circulates through global pop, the reconfiguration of white femininity in the Jamaican dancehall.

In doing so, we ask: What are the pop sounds and styles that produce gendered performances the world over? How does the fluid notion of the feminine relate to global feminisms, and to the embodied dimensions of musical creativity and movement? How do gender and Blackness intersect on the global pop stage?


Roshanak Kheshti

Roshanak Kheshti is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego and the author of Modernity’s Ear: Listening to Race and Gender in World Music (NYU Press, 2015).  She is currently working on two monographs: Switched on Bach for the 33 1/3... Read More →
avatar for Xavier Livermon

Xavier Livermon

Xavier Livermon is an Assistant Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He has published widely in the fields of African Popular Culture and African Queer Studies. His forthcoming book, Kwaito Futurity discusses the rise of post-apartheid... Read More →

Erin MacLeod

Erin MacLeod has a PhD in communications from McGill University, has taught at the University of the West Indies and presently teaches Caribbean Literature at Vanier College in Montreal, Canada. Her research interests lie in intercultural relationships that connect culture and geography... Read More →

Ali Colleen Neff

Ali Colleen Neff is a music writer, filmmaker, turntablist and media anthropologist based in Portland. Drawing from her lifelong work with global music communities, she works to integrate innovative subcultures, women, and marginalized communities into the global digital landscape... Read More →
avatar for Allen Thayer

Allen Thayer

Allen Thayer is a music journalist, nonprofiteer, and father of two who lives in Portland, OR. He was born there too, but then he moved away - East, at first, for an expensive degree or two, eventually working in Fair Trade, while writing about Brazilian Soul music by night. Allen... Read More →

Friday April 27, 2018 9:00am - 11:00am PDT
Demo Lab MoPOP, 325 5th Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109

Attendees (4)