Appert, Catherine : Seed Grant, 2016-2017


Catherine Appert (Music)

Arts & Sciences
Project Title: 
Music and Memory in the New African Diaspora
Project Abstract: 
This project explores the relationship between popular music, diaspora, and social memory through a multi-sited historical ethnography of hip hop and reggae performance in Senegal, The Gambia, and U.S. urban centers. These globalized musics retrace historic paths of diasporic movement that are remembered through contemporary performance, providing points of connection for people of African descent traveling to Africa in search of cultural roots. For Senegambian immigrants negotiating new systems of racial categorization and prejudice in the United States, on the other hand, these musical performances of diasporic memory further strengthen lived connections with African Americans even as they articulate cultural difference. In focusing on contemporary musical performance as a practice of memory, this project advances scholarship on the multidirectional cultural connections between Africa and its diaspora while suggesting new directions for research on the relationship between migration, diaspora, and transnationalism across disciplines.