MUSIC 193R

The World of Salsa. In the last 50 years, salsa music has increasingly become a global phenomenon. From living rooms in New York City to clubs Cali, from ballroom dancing competitions in Moscow to public parks in Beijing, and from world-known combos from Puerto Rico to lesser-known bands in Japan, salsa has an international presence that has made it both into a stereotypical marker of Latinx identity and into a global object of cosmopolitan desire. By tracking down the history and pre-history of the genre, its performance practice, the trajectory of its dance styles, and the rhetoric fans and practitioners use to express their connection to it, this class seeks to understand how salsa, a musical genre with a very localized beginning, has become a space for the negotiation of a wide variety of discourses about ethnic, gender, and racial belonging and difference. Exploring the Loeb Music Library collection of Rubén Blades Recordings and Papers will provide students with a unique opportunity to develop novel and original research projects.