IASPM International Conferences - Proceedings, Situating Popular Musics

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Southern currents: Some thoughts on Latin American popular music studies
Martha Tupinamba de Ulhôa

Last modified: 2013-01-22


Latin American scholars of the 1980s generation have been strongly criticised for their supposed uncritical adoption of models from European and North American musicology. Thirty years after the start of IASPM, and after a little more than ten years of Latin-American IASPM, it might be fruitful to examine this assumption and offer a reassessment. This is even more appropriate considering the fact that the “founding fathers” of Latin American IASPM received their doctorates in the late 1980s and early 1990s in North America and Europe, which means that they were aware of the establishment of popular music studies, and of the classic texts of the field, especially those in ethnomusicology, musicology, history and anthropology, with some touches of literary criticism and sociology. However, after receiving their degrees, Latin American music scholars rolled up their sleeves in order to plan and initiate graduate courses and, more importantly, establish research groups in order to construct a field for popular music studies within the academy. The results of this endeavour form the essential focus of this paper.

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