14.05.2018: "Mainstream Popular Music as a Challenge to Contemporary Gender Studies"

14.05.2018: "Mainstream Popular Music as a Challenge to Contemporary Gender Studies"

erstellt am 09. Mai 2018

Guest lecture by Sílvia Martínez (ESMUC Barcelona)

This week, we had our guest lecturer Sílvia Martínez (ESMUC Barcelona) holding a presentation on “Mainstream Popular Music as a Challenge to Contemporary Gender Studies” at the Institute of Ethnomusicology as part of our lecture series on recent trends and new directions in ethnomusicology.



ABSTRACT: The aim of this lecture is to explore the junction between two areas of ethnomusicology that have played a large part in driving the discipline over the last three decades: the first of these, ethnographic research into urban popular music, has gradually occupied a new space in ethnomusicology, though not without controversy (Mendívil 2013); then there is the progressive advance of a sharp gender perspective that has led it towards both the construction of a feminist ethnomusicology with a steady tradition (Koskoff 2014), and an enlargement of the theoretical frameworks of gender, in turn giving rise to the study of new masculinities or 'transgenderism', among others (Hawkins 2017). 

I will discuss some recent conflicts involving mainstream music and polemical gender representations related to it. I will show how ethnomusicology can enrich the reading made along certain feminist lines of some hypersexualised dance music forms: the holistic vision of music we propose from our discipline allows us to complement sociological and semiological approaches, as well as responding to some of the criticism levelled from the direction of liberal feminism towards these types of music. I will also look at some cases in which musical practices linked to local traditions bring forth daring proposals in terms of gender representation and negotiate their way through to mass-media outlets such as television and internet. 

Supported by audiovisual analysis and fieldwork, these cases will ultimately allow me to explore both the contribution of ethnomusicology to contemporary gender studies and the tensions created between scholarly feminist criticism and the dynamics of social activism.


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