1st Edition

Music and Identity Politics

Edited By Ian Biddle Copyright 2012

    This volume brings together for the first time book chapters, articles and position pieces from the debates on music and identity, which seek to answer classic questions such as: how has music shaped the ways in which we understand our identities and those of others? In what ways has scholarly writing about music dealt with identity politics since the Second World War? Both classic and more recent contributions are included, as well as material on related issues such as music's role as a resource in making and performing identities and music scholarship's ambivalent relationship with scholarly activism and identity politics. The essays approach the music-identity relationship from a wide range of methodological perspectives, ranging from critical historiography and archival studies, psychoanalysis, gender and sexuality studies, to ethnography and anthropology, and social and cultural theories drawn from sociology; and from continental philosophy and Marxist theories of class to a range of globalization theories. The collection draws on the work of Anglophone scholars from all over the globe, and deals with a wide range of musics and cultures, from the Americas, Australasia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This unique collection of key texts, which deal not just with questions of gender, sexuality and race, but also with other socially-mediated identities such as social class, disability, national identity and accounts and analyses of inter-group encounters, is an invaluable resource for music scholars and researchers and those working in any discipline that deals with identity or identity politics.

    Contents: Introduction; Part I Gender and Sexuality: Sic ego te dilegebam: music, homoeroticism and the sacred in early modern Europe, Todd M. Borgerding; On a lesbian relationship with music: a serious effort not to think straight, Suzanne G. Cusick; Introduction: voice, queer, technologies, Freya Jarman-Ivens; Masculine discourse in music theory, Fred Everett Maus; Introduction: a material girl in Bluebeard’s castle, Susan McClary; Negotiating masculinity in an Indonesian pop song: Doel Sumbang’s ’Ronggeng’, Henry Spiller. Part II Race: Dancing with the enemy: Cuban popular music, race, authenticity, and the world-music landscape, Deborah Pacini Hernandez; The Yiddish are coming, Josh Kun; ’Are you afraid of the mix of black and white?’ Hip hop and the spectacular politics of race, Russell A. Potter; Béla Bartók and the rise of comparative ethnomusicology: nationalism, race purity, and the legacy of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Katie Trumpener. Part III Social Identities: The final borderpost, Philip V. Bohlman; Social stratification and cultural consumption: music in England, Tak Wing Chan and John H. Goldthorpe; ’At the twilight’s last scoring’, Anahid Kassabian; That’s my blood down there, George Lipsitz; ’Losing...my religion: music, disability, gender and Jewish and Islamic law, Alex Lubet; Politics, identity, and nostalgia in Nigerian music: a study of Victor Olaiya’s highlife, Bode Omojola; The Qur’ân in Indonesian daily life: the public project of musical oratory, Anne K. Rasmussen; Music and the global order, Martin Stokes; Name index.


    Ian Biddle is Senior Lecturer and Head of Postgraduate Studies in Music at Newcastle University, UK. He is a cultural theorist and musicologist, working on a range of topics in music and sound-related areas. His work ranges from the cultural history of music and masculinity, music in the Holocaust, theorising music's intervention in communities and subjectivities, sound, soundscapes and urban experience, and the politics of noise. He has interests in memory studies, sound studies, Italian workerist and autonomist theory, psychoanalysis and theoretical approaches to 'affective' states. He is co-founder and co-ordinating editor (with Richard Middleton) of the journal Radical Musicology.