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Friday, April 21 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Performance of Diaspora

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Taking up questions of agency in popular music, this panel seeks to address the noisy, sonic, and embodied politics of diaspora. Ranging in scale from creative choices a raced artist to connected performances across an ocean, these panelists examine how the histories of particular popular music genres open up a space for performers of color to express dissenting voices and perspectives. The papers of this panel tread in alternative, punk, and bomba—three genres that are themselves racialized—to ask about the political labor of performing, racialized bodies. To that end, these papers collectively ask: How the travels of people, musical forms, and power are taken up in the diaspora? Douglas S. Ishii examines the sounds of nostalgia in rock guitarist James Iha’s country-inflected solo albums to interrogate how Iha negotiated his Asian American visibility in the U.S. multiculturalist zeitgeist amidst the racialization of popular music genres. Thea Quiray Tagle analyzes how Filipino and Filipino American punk and metal bands took up “punk’s sense of outsider subjectivity” as a form of protest during two oppressive presidencies in the Philippines: Ferdinand Marcos and Rodrigo Duterte. Jade Power Sotomayor interrogates the relationship of embodied music-making and dance in the use of bomba in political actions around Puerto Rico and the territory’s diaspora. Together, this panel uses popular music, a form often dismissed as trivial, as a way of probing the larger histories, energies, and imaginaries of power in which musicians intervene.

Douglas S. Ishii, “Let It Come Down: James Iha and the Racialization of Multiculturalism”
Thea Quiray Tagle, “Punk in a Time of Genocide: Filipino/American Sonic Resistance to Marcos and Duterte”
Jade Power Sotomayor, “Dancing the Music of Protest: Embodied Sovereignties and Puerto Rican Bomba"


Jack Halberstam

Twitter | | Jack Halberstam is a professor of English and Gender Studies at Columbia University. Having just moved from LA to NY, from West to East, Jack is learning to live with the cold again and enjoying the sights and sounds of Brooklyn while writing two new books—one titled Trans* looks at new forms of gendered embodiment and the other titled Wild Things explores the chaotic, the untamed and the anarchic for alternative models of living, thinking and desiring... Read More →

avatar for Douglas S. Ishii

Douglas S. Ishii

Douglas S. Ishii is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Asian American Humanities at Northwestern University. He was a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His manuscript-in-progress, Dissembling Diversities: Asian Pacific American Arts Activism and the Racialization of Sophistication, examines Asian American activist media through their dual influences of grassroots social movement organizing and the liberal class politics of... Read More →
avatar for Jade Power Sotomayor

Jade Power Sotomayor

Jade Power Sotomayor is an Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Arts at the University of Washington, Bothell. Her book project ¡Habla!: Speaking Bodies in Latinx Dance and Performance examines what she calls the “speaking body” in various sites of performance (solo-performance, Puerto... Read More →

Thea Quiray Tagle

Thea Quiray Tagle is a scholar and teacher of Interdisciplinary Arts and American and Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington Bothell. She is currently working on her manuscript, Salvaging Community: Socially Engaged Art, Urban Renewal, and the Remaking of San Francisco, which examines visual art and performance responding to the rampant gentrification of the San Francisco Bay Area... Read More →

Friday April 21, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Demo Lab MoPOP, 325 5th Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109