November 24, 2008
All Mixed Up:
A Cultural Exploration of Mixed Tapes and CDs
University of Oregon
This article examines the mixed tape/CD phenomenon in the socio-historical context of lyrical play to show how it functions in our society as an important conduit for the free exchange of information and culture. Mixes are viewed as a form of “Do It Yourself” (DIY) material culture to show how they serve as ideological playgrounds where the players encounter an infinite number of worldviews and develop the skills needed to construct and express their own worldviews and cultural models. Interviews with mix-makers and numerous examples of mix cover artwork are used to explore the folkloric process of mix-making, focusing on individual content, style, and production techniques while discussing cultural aspects of mixes in relation to ever-changing technologies and the copyright debate. (more…)
November 14, 2008
Healing Charms and Family Legends:
Passing on Beliefs Through Québécois Maternal Lineage1
Memorial University of Newfoundland
This article examines how emotions in fieldwork may both prevent and encourage the transmission of folklore. It illustrates a specific healing charm legend told by the author’s maternal family members in the province of Québec, Canada. Through her family members, Julie M-A LeBlanc examines the sense of sorority and the role of women in storytelling, a tradition mainly associated with men in Québec. This article also discusses bonding experiences as they are created amongst women when sharing family narratives as a cathartic response when faced with a family member’s fatal illness. She argues that a sense of urgency may stimulate spontaneous storytelling, such as the case with family members when death or the fear of losing memories is present. (more…)
November 5, 2008
Sydney Hutchinson. From Quebradita to Duranguense: Dance in Mexican American Youth Culture. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2007. 240 pages. $24.95 softcover.
Sydney Hutchinson’s From Quebradita to Duranguense: Dance in Mexican American Youth Culture is a riveting and award-worthy study. This book is simply brilliant. Hutchinson takes on the quebradita/tecnobanda dance craze of the mid 1990s. This dance style was particularly popular among Latino youth in Los Angeles and Tucson and, by 2006, it evolved into pasito duranguense in Chicago. Hutchinson presents an insightful social and critical analysis of how mainstream American culture has repeatedly failed to incorporate these subaltern groups into its political, social, and economic apparatus. (more…)
November 5, 2008
Keila Diehl. Echoes from Dharamsala: Music in the Life of a Tibetan Refugee Community. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002. Pp. xi+312, illustrations, glossary, index. $25.00 paper.
In Echoes from Dharamsala, anthropologist Keila Diehl presents an engaging and complex picture of Tibetan refugee life in Dharamsala, India, the site of Tibet’s government-in-exile, through the music the community listens to and produces. Diehl begins the book with a colorful description of the first few days of her fieldwork, allowing readers to share her experiences and visualize themselves in India with her. The rest of the book is just as vivid in the way she describes her interactions with the Tibetan refugee community and her role as a participant-observer in Dharamsala’s music culture while playing keyboards for the Yak Band, a Tibetan rock group. (more…)
November 5, 2008
David Buchan and James Moreira, eds. The Glenbuchat Ballads. University Press of Mississippi, 2007. Pp. lxxiv + 274, multiple indices, glossary. $60.00 hardbound.
In the early decades of the 19th century, the Reverend Robert Scott compiled a collection of ballads in the small community of Glenbuchat, located in a relatively isolated valley in Northeastern Scotland. Unlike similar collections, this gathering of some 68 ballads was never anthologized into the Francis James Child collection, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. Virtually unknown until 1949, it was donated to the Aberdeen University Library by one of Scott’s descendants. (more…)