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A Public Talk by Alex E. Chavez “Verses and Flows: Migrant Lives and the Sounds of Crossing”

November 13, 2018 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Hampton Room – Scripps College
1030 Columbia Ave.
Claremont, 91711

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.

As a Cultural Anthropologist trained in Linguistic Anthropology, Ethnomusicology, and Folklore, Chávez is committed to an integrative Anthropology that applies the tools of these sub-disciplinary fields to the realm of Latina/o Studies. His research explores Latina/o expressive culture in everyday life as manifested through language, performance, and sound. His work also bridges scholarship and creative expression as a means to explore how performance intersects with larger social concerns surrounding mobility, racialized personhood, and the intimacies that bind everyday life across physical and cultural borders.

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