MUSIC LESSONS: A CULTURAL STUDIES ANALYSIS OF MUSIC’S CAPACITY FOR CRITICAL PEDAGOGY AND METHODOLOGY by L. A. Pearl Hunt M.A., Simon Fraser University, 2002 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Doctor of Philosophy in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Cross-Faculty Inquiry in Education) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) October 2010 © L.A. Pearl Hunt, 2010 ii ABSTRACT When expressing the phrase music lessons, one often visualizes students with their musical instruments practicing scales or compositions with the intent of memorizing the music. Although music can actualize as mnemonic practice, this dissertation focuses on other lessons that music teaches us by examining how musical knowledge is produced. Building on the ideologies articulated within a framework of cultural studies, the dissertation attempts a pedagogical praxis that establishes a fluid and dynamic conversation to express both my theoretical and empirical findings. The findings then are not definitive answers to the questions I pose about music’s effect, but operate as a process of opening up these questions to further reflection. The dissertation, by invoking a praxis-based structure, communicates both the theoretical “how” of music as praxis involved work and my practice of realizing music as culture-in-action. The dissertation aims to redress music – not only in terms of music making as transformative praxis but also to assert that music, as a means of producing knowledge within critical discourse, can be situated as the subject versus the object of effect. Because a core component of music is its ability to be inclusive of all cultures/peoples, the dissertation examines how the performative aspects of music intersects sites and people of differing class, gender, race and culture to articulate music’s capacity for negotiating difference. Pitched in this way, music can no longer be regarded by critical educators as being on the sidelines of critical discourse but rather will be seen as integral to transforming consciousness and realizing praxis. By informing and expanding upon the theory and practice of critical pedagogy, this music discourse not only seeks to influence a broader idea of social justice praxis but can also operate as a predominant cultural component in promoting peace education. iii TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT.……………………………………………………………………………………………ii TABLE OF CONTENTS.……………………………………………………………………………. iii LIST OF FIGURES…………………………………………………………………………………… iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS…………………………………………………………………………….v DEDICATION…………………………………………………………………………………………. vi 1 INTRODUCTION: AN OVERTURE……………………………………………………………..1 Formative Themes...........................................................................................................1 Structure of Research……………………………………………………………………….. 10 References……………………………………………………………………………………. 15 2 MAKING MUSIC TO PROMOTE PEDAGOGY OF HOPE: A CONVERSATION……………………………………………………………………………. 17 What is Music, Anyway? .............................................................................................. 22 A Critical Theory of Peace………………………………………………………………….. 34 References……………………………………………………………………………………. 40 3 LOSING AND FINDING MY WESTERN BAGGAGE: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL CASE FOR RELOCATING HUMAN RIGHTS WITHIN CULTURAL STUDIES……………….… 43 A Few Theoretical Observations…………………………………………………………… 46 Collective Identities………………………………………………………………………….. 57 Music and Social Change…………………………………………………………………... 63 References…………………………………………………………………………………… 71 4 WORKING THROUGH DIFFERENCE: MUSIC’S CAPACITY FOR CULTURAL STUDIES PRAXIS………………………..……………………………….. 74 Theorizing Music and Identity………………………………………………………………. 85 Border Crossings…………………………………………………………………………….. 91 References……………………………………………………………………………….…..100 iv TABLE OF CONTENTS…cont…. 5 STRIKING A CHORD FOR WOMEN: THE FEMINIST INTERSECTION AT THE CROSSROADS OF MUSIC, RACE AND CULTURE…………………………….. 103 At the Crossroads of Music, Race and Culture………………………………………….. 104 The Feminist Intersection…………………………………………………………………… 108 References…………………………………………………………………………………… 124 6 SOUNDING OFF: MUSIC AS METHOD…………………………………………………….. 127 Participatory Research……………………………………………………………………… 128 Critical Ethnography………………………………………………………………………… 130 Music as Method…………………………………………………………………………….. 132 References…………………………………………………………………………………… 151 7 USING MUSIC TO REPRESENT VOICE: DEVELOPING A METHODOLOGICAL PROCESS FOR MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION……………….. 155 Recall………………………………………………………………………………………… 161 Rebuild……………………………………………………………………………………….. 168 Reclaim………………………………………………………………………………………. 172 References…………………………………………………………………………………... 179 8 CONCLUDING REMARKS: MUSIC AS KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION IN THE PROJECT OF CULTURAL STUDIES AND DISCOURSE FOR PEACE…………………. 182 Cultural Studies as a Framework for Social Justice …………………………………… 185 Future Research…………………………………………………………………………… 191 References………………………………………………………………………………….. 196 v LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1.1 Structural components………………………………………………………... 10 Figure 3.1 On the road……………………………………………………………………. 60 Figure 3.2 The participants……………………………………………………………….. 66 Figure 7.1 Directions to Mobile…………………………………………………………… 158 Figure 7.2 A postcard……………………………………………………………………… 171 vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My deepest gratitude for all the collaborative support I have received towards the development of this dissertation. In particular, I thank my supervisor, Professor Handel Wright, my committee members Professor Mary Bryson and Professor Budd Hall, my fellow colleagues at Simon Fraser University, and my family. All of you have made this work possible. I thank the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Graduate Studies for providing a Four Year Fellowship and University Graduate Fellowship to assist with completing this doctoral work. I also acknowledge Simon Fraser University’s Graduate Liberal Studies Program and the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs for their financial support of my research and conference travel. vii DEDICATION FOR PEACE 1 1. INTRODUCTION: AN OVERTURE Somewhat like a twentieth century musical, my opening remarks resemble an overture in that I want to lay the foundation for various themes which are developed throughout this dissertation. In beginning this discourse, I want to reiterate the purpose and goal of my dissertation which, in advancing the production of knowledge, specifically aims to examine how music produces knowledge within its own right. As a musician, cultural worker, and educator, music’s capacity to produce knowledge can be useful to furthering my understanding of critical pedagogy, which not only seeks to influence a broader idea of social justice praxis but also can be applied as a dominate cultural component in the theorizing of peace education. The formative themes then, revolve around knowledge production, praxis, pedagogy, and cultural work. Formative Themes Music is not about or caused by the social: it is part of whatever we take to be social writ large. Music is a constitutive ingredient of social life. – Tia DeNora (2003, p. 151) The theme of knowledge production The idea of music as a means of producing and transferring knowledge and as a means of promoting and securing peace is not at all a new concept. Indeed, Confucius in the 2 Book of Rites (200 BCE) suggests that, “to act without effort or violence is music.” 1 Many cultures and people know intuitively that music is its own knowledge - especially those cultures which until the twentieth century were largely orally based - as much of their cultural knowledge was transferred through song, music and dance (Levitin, 2008). For many people it is a matter of common sense that music affects us deeply. We know this because we experience these effects. As cultural sociologist Tia De Nora (2003) remarks: “We know, in short, that music matters” (p. 2). Music has power, or so many people believe. Across culture and time, it has been linked with persuasion, healing, corruption and many other transformational matters. The idea behind these linkages is that music “acts” on consciousness, the body, and the emotions, (De Nora, 2003, p. 1). Again, the realization that music acts upon the body is not new. In fact, music making has been controlled, manipulated and censored for centuries within religious, public, corporate and media practices. As a young girl of the 1960s, I remember the scandal of “Elvis’ pelvis” because his television performance was broadcasted below the belt! More recently, Heavy Metal music has been the focus of blame for inciting riots and massacres such as Columbine. French economist Jacques Attali (1985) in Noise: the Political Economy of Music, suggests that music is fundamentally a political practice: Listening to music is listening to all noise, realizing that its appropriation and control is a reflection of power, that it is essentially political” (1985, p. 6). 1 From: Attali (1985). Noise: The political economy of music. (Brian Massumi, Trans.) Minneapolis MN: University of Minnesota Press. Quote appears on page 29. 3 With the rise of mechanical and digital reproduction and mass media within the twenty- first century, music is perhaps more prolific and more accessible than at any time in history. What appears to be remarkable is that within this virtual explosion of music, western cultures, and in particular their academies, seldom see a need for thinking and writing critically about music in terms of constructing knowledge. Instead, as McClary (1991) asserts, music has been posed more remotely as a medium that “reflects” or otherwise parallels social structure and the questions of music effects remains unanswered. McClary, coming from a musicological stand point, also questions the boundaries of music capabilities and wonders why the “effects” of music have been kept hidden within her academic discipline. As a result, during the twentieth century, musicology became a scholarly and specialist subject with a fissure between ordinary everyday responses to music and the expert accounts of music; creating a vacuum not only within the discourses of music but also within critical theorizing. McClary notes: Given its centrality in the manipulation of affect, social formation, and the constitution of identity, music is far too important a phenomenon not to talk about, even if the most important questions cannot be definitely settled by means of objective, positivist methodologies. For music is always a political activity, and to inhibit criticism of its effects for any reason is likewise a political act. – Susan McClary, 1991, p. 40. This dissertation then follows in the musical footprints of socio-cultural theory marked by the work of Adorno (1976) who is hailed as the “father of the sociology of music” (Shepherd, 2001, p. 605); expanding upon the work of Tia DeNora (2000, 2003); Simon 4 Firth (1990, 1996); Lawerence Grossberg (1993, 1997, 1998); including music scholars such as John Cage (1973,1990); Jann Pasler (2008) and feminist musicologists such as McClary (1991) and Tricia Rose (1994) to redress music – not only in action as transformative praxis but also to assert that music is a means of producing knowledge within critical discourse and therefore has important implications in better understanding critical pedagogy. Pitched in this way, music can no longer be regarded by critical educators as being on the sidelines of critical discourse but rather will be seen as integral to transforming consciousness and realizing praxis. Music then becomes the subject versus the object of effect. Music is not only a site in time and place for negotiating difference but also is the very method of negotiation. The focus on how music is drawn into action, how music may be seen to participate, involves shifting a concern with ‘What’ music does to a concern with ‘How’ music can be seen to afford specific actors resources for world building of any kind” (De Nora, 2003, p. 154). The dissertation proposes to articulate both the theoretical “how” of music as praxis involved work and my practice of demonstrating music as culture-in-action. The theme of praxis involved pedagogy Human activity consists of action and reflection: it is praxis: it is transformation of the world. And as praxis it requires theory to illuminate it. Human activity is theory and practice (Freire, 1970, p. 96). 5 The modern idea of praxis initiated by Paulo Freire’s (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed, was crucial to the radical educational movement emancipating the oppressed of Brazil and later developed into critical pedagogy by educators, and theorists such as Henry Giroux, bell hooks, Roger Simon, Peter McLaren, Patti Lather, and Shirley Steinberg, all of whom have continually been redefining both the meaning of critical pedagogy or cultural politics. Freire argued that knowledge was a way of being that reflected the deepest human capacities for producing culture and history and that dialogue was essential for producing knowledge. Building on the ideologies expressed within the framework of critical pedagogy, my dissertation aims towards a pedagogical praxis which attempts a fluid and dynamic conversation to express both my theoretical and empirical findings. The findings then are not definitive answers to the questions I pose about music’s effect, but operate as a process of opening up these questions to further reflection. Through this critical reflection upon my cultural work as a musician, researcher and educator, the dissertation provides a two-fold purpose: to further a critical discourse of how music is constitutive of knowledge and in so doing contribute to the cultural studies discourse by asserting music’s effect within critical pedagogy. The theme of border pedagogy This idea of crossing borders, a theoretical crossing back and forth between systems, is articulated by Henry Giroux (1992) in Border crossings: cultural workers and the politics of education. In his theoretical writings Giroux offers hope for expanding critical 6 discourse that opens up new political and pedagogical possibilities in his theoretical construct of “border pedagogy”. He writes: Border pedagogy necessitates combining the modernist emphasis on the capacity of individuals to use critical reason to address the issues of public life with a post modern concern with how we might experience agency in a world constituted in differences unsupported by transcendent phenomena or metaphysical guarantees (1992, p. 29). It is important to examine the parameters regarding the modern versus postmodern debate that continues to be a representative narrative within the field of education. Viewing the modern/postmodern as a closed set of oppositional constructs (a duality in itself) tends to limit the historical continuity that acknowledges theoretical crossover from modern to postmodern within feminist studies, cultural studies and critical pedagogy that has occurred since the early 1980’s.2 This is not to say that within the modern or postmodern discourse one paradigm takes precedence over the other, but rather, to recognize the considerable cross over between the modern and postmodern within any western enlightenment-based theoretical discourse.3 So, rather than creating a rigid declaration of allegiances to either a modern or postmodern paradigm 2 Theorist such as Teresa de Lauretis, Denise Riley and Susan McClary have argued for several decades that women need to derive strategies from both apparently mutually exclusive positions: “to practice deconstruction analyses of the tradition when necessary, but also to try to imagine new social realities – worlds in which the celebration of the erotic need not reduce women to sexual objects, in which the intellect and the body can be mutually supportive and collaborative” (McClary,1991, p. 140). 3 The realization that without modernity there could be no postmodern movement as modernity is the soil in which post modernism germinates, grows and seeds the ground again. 7 my dissertation is an attempt to encourage a dialogue between not only the modern and postmodern but also between western enlightenment based discourse and discourses such as post-colonialism that challenge the Eurocentric enlightenment based notions of academic scholarship. Giroux (1992) suggests that dialogical encounters among these discourses offers the opportunity to reexamine the partiality of their respective views and also points to new possibilities for sharing and integrating their best insights as part of a broader radical democratic project. Central to such a politics and pedagogy is the notion of community development around a shared conception of social justice, human rights and entitlement. The role of the cultural worker We cross borders, but we don’t erase them; we take our borders with us. (Behar, 1993, p. 320).4 As a musician and performing artist, I have crossed numerous borders in the pursuit of work, taking with me the songs and stories of my culture to share and reshape with another culture. Musicians by trade are the ultimate border crossers. In Jacque Attali’s (1985) political discourse on noise (music) he details the historical progress of musicians, the “odyssey of wandering, the adventure of absences..,”5 noting that until the middle ages the jongleur (Latin jocular “to entertain” ) remained outside society, akin to a vagabond. Even today, pop musicians such as Rod Stewart admit to being arrested 4 Every once in a while as a student I have come upon a particular passage that resonated for me. Such is the case of Ruth Behar’s (1993) above quote from Translated woman: Crossing the border with Esperanza's story. Boston, MS: Beacon Press. 5 From: Serres (1975) Eesthetique. 8 for vagrancy before his initial financial successes,6 demonstrating that the practices of musicians still carry traces of an earlier less domesticated border crosser. Just as music and musicians cross borders both physically and through their artistic practice, I am suggesting that border crossing also occurs on a theoretical stage and that these borders are not erased, but carried with us. For example, among the multiple components of my identity, I am white, middle-aged and a feminist, a product of economic and political ideologies largely based in the modern Marxist feminist tradition – a critical tradition. This is who I am as a cultural worker and educator and just as these core beliefs affect how I view myself within the world, they also provide the theoretical stage to interrogate their usefulness. Giroux suggests that as a theoretical construct border pedagogy allows the rigidity of academia to break down, “the concept of academic disciplinary borders breaks down and enables cultural workers to grasp the ultimate arbitrariness of disciplinary divisions, of the forced separations and hierarchies that prevent cultural production from taking place in the interfacing of multiple cultural codes, knowledge forms, and modes of inquiry” (1992, p. 242). While Wright (2009)7 points to privileged border crossers (such as tourists and scholars) there are other border crossers at the opposite end of the spectrum of power and privilege. It is hard to estimate just who is physically crossing borders as a great deal of this activity is illegal, in the terror of escape or enforced passage. Perhaps, border crossing is also a site of the least privileged. Spivak (1990) has pointed out that more is 6 From: Interview with Jay Leno, November 19, 2009 on the Jay Leno Show, NBC. 7 Wright, H. (personal correspondence April 6, 2009). 9 at stake than problematizing the discourse of privilege: more importantly, educators and cultural workers must be engaged in “…the unlearning of one’s privilege. So that, not only does one become able to listen to that other constituency, but one learns to speak in such a way that one will be taken seriously by others” (p. 42). I am suggesting that the idea of moving across borders, through time and space, much like the movement of music, is a movement that is political and has the potential to be transformative. Even if it is difficult to account definitively for how music precipitates such transformations, its political potency must be acknowledged. Any human discourse with this much influence not only warrants but demands serious scrutiny (McClary, 1991, p. 25). The political potency of music as a mobilizing tool within fundamentalist, fascist and racist organizations indicates the powerful influence music has as a connective force for various ideologies. It is the work, in part, of cultural studies to examine and identify how music is used to sustain institutionalized ideologies of racism, sexism and terror in order to better understand how social inequalities are constructed and maintained as hegemonic practices. Grossberg’s (1993)8 claim that in the battle for ideology ‘‘culture leads politics’’ is still relevant today, especially in light of post 9/11 neoconservative tactics that appropriate music for right wing purposes, (Spencer, 2010). If music can be used for embedding deadly essentialist ideas of identity resulting in racism, sexism and hate crimes, it then follows that music making also has the potential to embed ideals of 8 Grossberg, Lawrence. (1993) We gotta get out of this place: Popular conservatism and postmodern culture. New York: Routledge. Quote appears on p. 255. (Also see Hall 1996, Bennett, 1993). peace and co-operation. It is with a focus on the peaceful transformative powers of music that I am situating my pedagogical inquiry suggesting that music, as it crosses borders, carries the transformative potential for social justice. Structure of Research By combining theory and personal practice as autobiographical and auto- ethnographical reflection in three distinct movements, the dissertation attempts a music- like, praxis-based, cultural critique specific to music’s pedagogical role in building cultures of peace (knowledge distribution); music’s ability for negotiating difference (recognition); and music’s capacity for methodology (representation).9 Figure 1.1 Structure of research Overture Movements Coda First Movement Distribution Chapters II & III Second Movement Recognition Chapters IV & V Third Movement Representation Chapters VI & VII 10 9 The questions I am exploring interrogate the political dimensions of distribution, recognition and representation (Fraser, 2004). From: Naples, Nancy A. (2004). To interpret the world and to change it: An interview with Nancy Fraser. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 29 (4), 1104-1124. 11 Throughout the dissertation I draw on a several methodologies such as critical ethnography, auto-ethnography and participatory research practices to express empirical findings within each movement. However, the overarching methodology of the dissertation relies of cultural studies not only as an analytical tool but also as a method for articulating (expressing and joining together) the individual essays/papers/chapters into a cohesive whole. Working within this cultural studies methodological and conceptual framework my dissertation addresses the centrality and pervasiveness of music in everyday lives and attempts to open up some space for a critical reflection on music’s unique capacity to articulate and enhance social justice. Working within a critical theoretical context, the pedagogical focus of the dissertation aims to contribute to discourses of difference (class, race and gender) in order to inform ways in which music can be positioned as a formative component of critical pedagogy and also provide applications towards furthering peace education and social justice. Given this conceptual and methodological framework my research questions are as follows: 1) How does cultural studies serve as a framework for connecting music, critical theory and critical ethnography in mutually supportive and interventive ways to articulate social justice issues? 2) In what ways can using music, (and by extension sound and noise) as social data, inform, trouble, disrupt and further the work of critical discourses in terms of issues of representation, identity and positionality. 12 3) How does music work in the construction of knowledge or the co-construction of knowledge in a way that encourages collective action or social justice? The chapters Chapter 1, Making Music to Promote a Pedagogy of Hope: a conversation, establishes the theoretical framework for working within a pedagogy of hope (Freire, 1994) and dynamic justice (Tomaselli, 2004) – a framework that relies on the presence of dialogue as a constitute factor of hope. In making a case for promoting music as a comparative to dialogue, chapter 1 addresses the centrality and pervasiveness of music as an element of social narratives and highlights the historical role of music making in social movement learning that operates largely outside the academy in the often marginalized field of adult education and, in particular, peace education. Chapter 2, Losing and Finding My Western Baggage, puts into play what Barbara Omolade (1990) would term a “griot history” that “connects, uses, and understands the methods and insights of both Western and African world-views and historical perspectives to further develop a synthesis with a unique methodology, sensibility and language” (p. 284). 10 In challenging the effectiveness of western based discourse in regards to African epistemologies, Losing My Western Baggage, brings forward a post- colonial discourse which acknowledges that subjects need decentering but does not dismiss universal life affirming notions such as human agency or human rights. This critique then allows me to access the space for music to move beyond the Eurocentric 10 From: Braxton, M. & McLaughlin, A. (Eds.) (1990). Wild women in the whirlwind. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. 13 modern/postmodern Enlightenment project and examine how identities and communities are shaped by music specific to African ways of knowing. Ways of knowing which have developed in the West betray an inability to connect body, mind and spirit and a preoccupation with domination based simultaneously upon violence and silencing – in particular, the erasure and silencing of African voices through colonization. Although post-structuralism developed postmodern constructs such as “queer” and post-human theories furthering rights pertaining to gendered and racial issues within the west, post-structuralism has had little impact in terms of human rights within Africa. (Notwithstanding the poststructuralist effects of gendered harassment in the work place, for many Africans, there is no work place in the first place.) In addressing issues of human rights and peace education, even radical poststructuralists such as Jacques Rancière (2008) cross ideological borders by suggesting dialogue to resolve conflict. Dialogue is hardly a postmodern concept.11 Moving from margin to centre and back to margin,12 chapter 3, Working through Difference, examines the need for cultural workers to create a politics that contributes to the multiplication of sites of democratic struggles. In articulating the contested origins of cultural studies and the violent ruptures of gender and race discourses within the equally contested Eurocentric Marxist based class struggle, I focus on how black music is a site of complexity and struggle that offers a dynamic and multifaceted look at the intersection of class, race, gender and music. Within the specifics of African American 11 Rancière, J. (2008, March). The contemporary misadventures of critical thinking. Paper presented at a public lecture of the Centre for Cross-Faculty Inquiry, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. http://www.ccfi.educ.ubc.ca/media.php 12 This expression was first brought to critical discourse by bell hooks in her 1984 publication, Feminist theory: From margin to center. Cambridge, MA: South End Press. 14 popular cultural and its (missed) representations, chapter 4, Striking A Chord for Women: the feminist intersection at the crossroads of music, race, and culture, celebrates through music, the enormous cultural and political contribution of African American women. Here, music is more than a site for negotiating difference but is witnessed as culture-in-action – as transformative praxis. This chapter challenges white historical representations of feminism by interrogating the fragmentation between class, race and cultures and calls for establishing a collaborative feminism to motivate cultural workers towards a culture of inclusivity. Music and sound can be viewed as social data within ethnographic work and chapter 5, Sounding Off, weaves music, noise and methodology within both participatory action research and critical ethnographic research practices. Here, I suggest that music is more than a handy activity to do among participants but it can be a method for collecting data and ultimately producing, representing and transferring knowledge. The sixth chapter, Representing Voice, combines music with methodology to produce new ways of understanding the pedagogical importance of music. Demonstrating through a multimedia critical ethnography post Katrina,13 I detail my process of how musical knowledge can be articulated, represented and translated to affect transformative praxis. In short, to demonstrate that music matters. The compilation of these chapters represents the research and writing (both published and unpublished), I conducted during my tenure as a graduate student in the Centre for Cross-Faculty Inquiry in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. 13 Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the United States in August 2005. The environmental damage from broken water levies and disappearing wet lands left the city of New Orleans and its people devastated. The critical ethnography depicts a personal point of view of Katrina during its recovery from the floods. 15 References Attali, J. (1985). Noise: The political economy of music. (Brian Massumi, Trans.). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Behar, R. (1993) Translated woman: Crossing the border with Esperanza's story. Boston : Beacon Press. Braxton, M., & McLaughlin, A. (Eds.). (1990). Wild women in the whirlwind. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Cage, J. (1990). An autobiographical statement. Southwest Review 76, 59-76. DeNora, T. (2003). After Adorno: Rethinking music sociology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. DeNora, T. (2000). Music in everyday life. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Firth, S. (1996). Music and identity. In Hall, S. & du Gay, P. (Eds.), Cultural identity. Thousand Oaks: Sage (108- 127). Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. (Myra Bergman-Ramos, Trans.). New York: Herder and Herder. Freire, P. (1994). Pedagogy of hope. New York: The Continuum Publishing Company. Giroux, H. (1992). Border crossings: Cultural workers and the politics of education. New York: Routledge. Grossberg, L. (1993). We gotta get out of this place: Popular conservatism and postmodern culture. New York: Routledge. Grossberg, L. (1994/1997). Bringing it all back home: Pedagogy and cultural studies. In Bringing it all back home: Essays on cultural studies (pp. 374-390). Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Grossberg, L. (1998). The Cultural studies’ crossroads blues. European Journal of Cultural Studies. 1 (1) 65-82. Grossberg, L. (2004). Dancing in spite of myself: Essays on popular culture. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. hooks, bell (1984). Feminist theory: From margin to center. Cambridge, MA: South End Press. Legge, J. (Trans.). (1966). The sacred books of China: The texts of Confucianism [The Book of Rites]. Oxford: Clarendon. Leno, J. & Vickers, D. (producers). (November 19, 2009). The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. [Television series]. Burbank, CA: National Broadcasting Company. Levitin, D. (2008). The world in six songs: How the musical brain created human nature. New York: Dutton. 16 McClary, S. (1991). Feminine Endings: Music, gender and sexuality. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Naples, N. A. (2004). To interpret the world and to change it: An interview with Nancy Fraser. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 29 (4), 1104-1124. Omolade, B. (1990). The silence and the song: Towards a black woman’s history through a language of her own. In Braxton, M. & McLaughlin, A. (Eds.), Wild women in the whirlwind (pp. 282-295). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Pasler, J. (2008). Writing through music: Essays on music, culture, and politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Rancière, J. (2008, March). The contemporary misadventures of critical thinking. Public lecture, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. http://www.ccfi.educ.ubc.ca/media.php Rose, T. (1994). Black noise: rap music and Black culture in contemporary America. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England. Serres, M. (1975). Esthétiques sur Carpaccio. Paris: Hermann. Shepherd, J. (2001). Sociology of Music. In S. Sadie et al. (Eds.), The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians, 603-14. Washington, DC: Grove's Dictionaries of Music. Spencer, M. (2010). Rockin' the right-wing blogosphere: John J. Miller's conservative song lists and popular culture after 9/11. The Journal of Popular Culture, 43, (3) 600–621. Spivak, G. (1990). The Post-colonial Critic: interviews, strategies, dialogues; edited by Sarah Harasym. London: Routledge. Spivak, G. (2006). Culture alive – problematizing global knowledge. Theory, Culture and Society, 23 (2-3), 359-360. Sullivan, E. & Lewis, M. (Producers). (1960). The Ed Sullivan Show [Television series]. New York: Columbia Broadcasting System. Tomaselli, K.G. (2000). Recovering Praxis: Cultural Studies in Africa. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 1 (3), 387-402. Tomaselli, K. & Shepperson, A. (2004). Cultural studies is the crisis: Culturalism and dynamic justice. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 4 (2), 257-268. Wright, H. K. (2003). Cultural studies as praxis: (Making) an autobiographical case. Cultural Studies, 7 (6), 805-822. Wright, H. K. & Maton, K. (2004). Cultural studies and education: From Birmingham origin to glocal presence. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 26 (2-3), 73-89. 17 2. MAKING MUSIC TO PROMOTE PEDAGOGY OF HOPE: A CONVERSATION1 Introduction This chapter draws largely from cultural theory, history, music, and pedagogy using both popular and theoretical works to bring forward the idea that making music has an important role in creating and promoting peace. Although music by definition is a continually contested site – as what may be music to some is noise to others and vice versa – the thrust of this chapter deals with the performative nature of music, specifically, the act of making music. By discussing the ways making music intervenes in and contributes to social justice praxis, this chapter takes up the conversation surrounding the dynamics of music making by offering an approach that explores question spaces and transdisciplinary methods. In articulating music’s legacy within movements of social change, the chapter examines what making music might mean within the discourse of cultural studies and how a social justice oriented, music inclusive version of peace studies might benefit from this discussion. In short, why not make music to promote peace? In order to best illustrate how music works within movements of social change, it helps to actually hear it. Therefore, where possible, I have inserted links to music recordings that I utilize as example of historical, social and cultural narratives. Being able to listen to the artists who composed the lyrics/melodies demonstrates not only how music is 1 A version of this chapter has been published. Hunt, L.A. Pearl. (2009). Pianos for peace: A conversation. In Elavie Ndura-Ouédraogo and Randall Amster (Eds.), Building culture of peace: Transdisciplinary voices of hope and action. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 18 being produced in the virtual world, but also how this virtual site has the potential to provide a global lens into making music as social justice praxis. A conversation On February 15, 2003, at least 35,000 people from all walks of life marched in the streets of Vancouver, British Columbia as part of the International Day of Action to say No to War On Iraq. The Vancouver contingency was part of more than 50 million who marched in over 600 events on five continents around the world. Bruce Child, co- convenor of the Walk Against War coalition declared: "We are looking at the largest protest in world history: a stunning manifestation of globalization from below." 2 It was certainly a day for the history books – a day where millions connected on a multinational plane to promote peace. On February 17, 2003, The New York Times declares that "...there may still be two superpowers on the planet: the United States and world public opinion." 3 The weather in Vancouver on that February day was damp and cool; the sun trying at times to break through the clouds. The peace march began at Library Square and proceeded through the downtown core to the Art Gallery (the former Vancouver Court House) where speakers spoke and musicians played for several hours. The marchers eventually dispersed leaving the courthouse steps stone silent. In response to this march, I wrote a piano composition entitled Pianos for Peace, not only to celebrate the “power of the people”, but also to connect myself and my piano students to the marches. 2 Bruce Childs is a former Australian Senator, the President of the Evatt Foundation and a co-convenor of the Walk Against the War Coalition. Evatt Foundation website: http://evatt.labor.net.au/news/183.html 3 Cited from: Childs, Bruce on Evatt Foundation Website. 19 Even though we weren’t able to attend in person, making music created a metaphysical space, enabling us to attend the march in spirit. What is it about music that makes it such a powerful force of engagement, connection and transformation? The dynamics of music as transformative and the pervasiveness of music as social/historical representations of culture, indicate that music continues to be a major component of social change. Yet, how music operates within a theoretical critical context is seldom discussed. Musician and scholar, George Lewis, introducing Pasler’s (2008) Writing through Music, acknowledges that: In contrast to previous eras, the work of many of the best known public intellectuals of our time seem distanced from musical considerations and from new and experimental music in particular. As a result, the practice of culturally and philosophically theorizing contemporary nonliterary, nonvisual texts tends to become marginalized and devalued in the public sphere – not because music scholars are not producing these works but, perhaps, simply because it is somehow assumed that music has little to teach us about the critical issues of our time. 4 This chapter attempts to begin a conversation whereby we look seriously at music abilities to inform, intervene in and articulate critical social justice praxis. Using a conversation, rather than an argument, to negotiate difference is an idea that cultural theorist, Kwame Anthony Appiah, promotes in Cosmopolisms (2006): “Cosmopolitanism begins with the simple idea that in the human community, as in national communities, 4 Lewis, George E. (2008). Foreword. In Pasler, J. Writing through Music: Essays on Music, Culture, and Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press (p. vii). 20 we need to develop habits of coexistence: conversation in its older meaning, of living together, association” (2006, p. xix). In many ways Appiah’s model of conversation echoes that of Paulo Freire’s (1970) formative work on the dialogic mode articulated in Pedagogy of the Oppressed. “Founding itself upon love, humility and faith, dialogue becomes a horizontal relationship of which mutual trust between dialoguers is the logical consequence. Trust is established by dialogue” (1970, pp. 79-80). Drawing on Freire’s dialogic model, peace educator Betty Reardon (1988) in her pioneering text, Comprehensive Peace Education: Educating for Global Responsibility, also acknowledges the benefits of conversation as a tool for peace. Reardon suggests a collective community-based approach to conversation that “connotes a community of inquirers, sharing questions and insights, mutually responsible for creating the knowledge necessary to the changes our common values impel us to seek” (1988, p. 49). Conversation in this capacity becomes both pedagogy and a mode of peacemaking. Because the very nature of academia is essentially competitive5, introducing the idea of conversation versus argument in this discussion can open up possibilities within the very questions that we ask and potentially better serve transformative learning, educational praxis and social change (Freire, 1970; Giroux, 1994; Hall, 2000). Grossberg (1997), regarding the formulation of questions, additionally reiterates the elitist atmosphere of academia: “The elitism of the intellectual comes not merely from 5 Mezirow (2000) suggests that academia presents an ideal model for reflective discourse. However, academia is still structured on a monastic (patriarchal) “culture of polarized argumentation in which reality is dichotomized and in which winning an argument seems to be more important than understanding different ways of thinking and reaching consensus”(p. 64). 21 our assumption that we already know the answers but even more, from our assumption that we already know the questions” (p. 389). So, in order to open up this conversation, I am implementing what Pasler (2008) refers to as question spaces that operate somewhat differently than questions. Whereas questions tend to be oriented in a given direction and motivated by a linear force, question spaces allows what can be learned by chance. “To the extent that the exploration of such spaces unveils interaction and networks of connection between people, practices, and art works, question-spaces allow for multiple linearities, nonlinearities, and simultaneities” (p. 9). This is much the same way that a musical composition works. Question spaces then broaden our awareness of the vague, presupposed and implied involved in any question and more fully embrace the partial nature of understanding. Pasler suggests that such a method presumes that “understanding is not just an articulation, rediscovery or ascription of meaning through thought or discourse but is instead transformative, productive of new meanings” (p. 10).6 If being accountable to complexity is necessary for transformative learning, then question spaces can provide the open terrain for this inquiry of music and social justice praxis with the understanding that the questions themselves are always already partial and incomplete. Since social justice praxis involves the articulation of theory and action, a conversation/dialogue that encourages thinking critically about music and its relationship to critical pedagogy could perhaps inform/become a model of social justice praxis. 6 Pasler italicizes the words transformative and productive for emphasis. 22 What is Music, Anyway? Musician and scholar, John Cage (1990) in his Autobiographical Statement, articulates his process of making music: “My favorite music is the music I haven't yet heard. I don't hear the music I write. I write in order to hear the music I haven't yet heard” (p. 75).7 Cage’s revolutionary utilization of sound/noisescapes pushed the boundaries not only of how music is created but also of what actually constitutes music. For the purpose of this discussion, I am offering a very broad definition of music as it is used in music making. My definition includes: musical instrumentation, composition, songs, sampling, lyrics, and vocalizing. Yet, music is more than its acoustics; it also operates within and upon emotional paradigms. Perhaps, the word that most closely describes music, a word Cage himself used to describe music’s affect, is “accord” suggesting a “connection, a relationship, a being-in-accord with others, with what is, with what happens”8 (2008, p. 176). The musical brain Neuroscientist and musician Daniel Levitin (2008)9 in his latest popular writing, The World in Six Songs: How the musical brain created human nature, recognizes the centrality of music as it comes to define humans through generations of evolution: 7 From: Cage, J. (1990). An Autobiographical Statement, Southwest Review, 76 (W), 59-76. 8 This idea both Pasler and Cage utilize in their theorizing of the dynamics of music. (Pasler, 2008, p. 176) 9 Daniel J. Levitin is the James McGill Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Music at McGill University, where he runs the Laboratory for the Study of Music, Perception, Cognition and Expertise. 23 Music, I argue, is not simply a distraction or a pastime, but a core element of our identity as a species, an activity that paved the way for more complex behaviors such as language, large-scale cooperative undertakings, and passing down of important information from one generation to the next (Levitin, 2008, p. 3). The centrality and pervasiveness of music in everyday lives can be viewed (or heard as the case may be) as both expressions of our identity and tactics for social change. David Huron (2008) notes there is no known culture now or anytime in the past that lacks music, and some of the oldest human-made artifacts found at archaeological sites are musical instruments. “Music is important in the daily lives of most people in the world, and has been throughout history”10 (2008, p. 2). Indeed, examples of the centrality of music as a connective dynamic can be found throughout twentieth century North American social/historical narratives of social change such as the protest song “Bread and Roses”, which was inspired by a banner carried by a group of young female strikers during the 1912 walkout in the textile district of Lawrence, Massachusetts.11 The banner’s slogan, “We want bread and roses, too,” moved poet James Oppenheim to write “Bread and Roses”, which was set to music by Caroline Kohlsaat and is still sung every March 8, on International Women’s Day: 10 Huron as quoted by Levitin, D. (2008) The world in six songs: How the musical brain created human nature. New York: Dutton, (p. 2). 11 1912, in the woolen centre of Lawrence, Massachusetts, twenty thousand workers walked out of the mills in spontaneous protest against a cut in their weekly pay. “And the most significant part of that strike was that it was a democracy. The strikers had a committee of 56, representing 27 different languages.” (Bill Haywood cited in Fowke and Glazer, 1973, p. 71). This strike eventually won important concessions from the woolen companies not only for the Lawrence strikers but also for 250,000 textile workers throughout New England. During one of the many marches conducted by the strikers a group of young women carried a banner with the slogan: “We want bread and roses, too,” (Fowke & Glazer 1974, p. 71). 24 As we come marching, marching, in the beauty of the day A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses For the people hear us singing, bread and roses, bread and roses.12 Throughout the twentieth century the practice of “everyday” music was largely communal/collectively driven – around kitchen tables, front parlours, in the streets and, in particular, through worship. One of the most popular and often sung anthems of social change we know today has its roots in a 1903 Baptist hymn written by the Reverend Charles Tindley entitled “I’ll Overcome Some Day.” Lucille Simons, a member of the Food and Tobacco Workers Union, changed the hymn to first person plural and “We Shall Overcome” was sung on the picket lines of Kentucky‘s 1947 tobacco workers strike. Zilphia Horten, the musical director of Highlander Folk School, learned the song from Lucille on the picket lines. Zilphia changed the melody of the hymn to make it easier to sing and the song became the anthem of the Civil Rights Movement (Hunt, 2002, p. 45). As we progress through the twenty-first century, music in the western world is more often accessed on a virtual site, such as You Tube or iTunes, where performances of the above songs can be found. One of the most remarkable, moving and innovative musical resources available through the internet is Playing for Change: Peace Through 12 Oppenheim, J. (words) and Kohlsaat, K (music) (1912). Bread and Roses. In Fowke, E. & Glazer, J. (Eds.), (1973). Songs of Work and Protest (pp. 70-71). New York: Dover Publications. (Original work published in1960 by Labor Education Division of Roosevelt University.) Music and lyrics are in Public Domain. 25 Music– a multimedia movement created to connect, inspire and bring peace to the world through music (www.playingforchange.com).13 If we can agree (or at least temporarily suspend judgment) on the centrality of music within our social historical narrative, it may be possible to imagine music as a tool to analyze contemporary critical issues whose importance cuts across fields – a writing that invokes transdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary methods. Cultural theorists Arnold Shepperson and Keyan Tomaselli (2004) urge us to acknowledge that since concrete social problems ignore disciplinary fences, then solutions to these problems should also traverse disciplinary fences: “Transdisciplinarity acknowledges the specific insights of particular disciplines with the view to establishing their dialectical relations across specific social issues in an attempt to obtain a more integrated understanding of the human context in its multiple forms and dimensions” (2004, p. 261). Drawing on cultural studies Building on the idea of using question spaces and writing through disciplines, I now bring a cultural studies framework towards music and social justice scholarship – a framework that is, as Grossberg (1997) suggests, “willing to take the risk of making connections, drawing lines, mapping articulations between domains, discourse and 13 "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", a cover of the Ben E. King classic “Stand By Me” by musicians around the world can be experienced @ http://www.flixxy.com/peace-through-music.htm 26 practices, to see what will work both theoretically and politically” (p. 386). Cultural studies, according to Grossberg, starts where the people are, but “it does not assume that either they or we know the answers” (Grossberg, 1997, p. 388). Cultural studies does assume a “reality that is constantly reworked by and only made available through cultural practices” (Grossberg, 1997, p. 379). How then do we define cultural practices and what constitutes cultural practices, as the construct of culture itself is a highly contested term? Because the very concept of culture is contextual and caught between social formation, everyday life, and representational practices, for our conversation I am suggesting we view culture as a process or as Raymond Williams (1958/1989) proposes “the community of process” and that cultural studies is, as Grossberg affirms, “the most human of all processes, the process of communication, which, it turns out, is the process of meaning and production” (Grossberg, 1998, 73). This definition supports the idea that cultural studies provides an ideal framework to promote conversation. Cultural studies then is a process of communicating meanings through conversation, using many disciplines to articulate a way of making sense of the world. “Cultural studies is an attempt to answer the most basic question: ‘What’s Going On’” (Grossberg, 1998, p. 67). Father, father we don’t need to escalate You see war is not the answer For only love can conquer hate.14 14 What’s Going On. Words and music by Marvin Gaye, Al Cleveland, and Renaldo Benson, C. 1970 Hollywood, CA: Jobette Music. For Marvin Gaye performance of this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9KC7uhMY9s 27 Grossberg’s intentional15 use of Marvin’s Gaye’s (1971) poignant, protest song What’s Going On, demonstrates not only the pervasiveness of popular music as represented in popular culture, but also how the lyrics of music become embedded in everyday language. More importantly though, this example demonstrates how song lyrics emerge and evolve through history as a dynamic component of everyday language. However, not all lyrics produce action inducing peace. An example of how embedded lyrics can negatively impact and perpetuate ideas of intolerance within everyday language is the expression Jim Crow that originated from the minstrel song, “Jump Jim Crow”: Wheel about, an' turn about, an' do jis so; Eb'ry time I wheel about, I jump Jim Crow.16 Leon Litwach (1998) describes the etymology of the “Jim Crow” phase in Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow. It appears that Jim Crow was an elderly Black stableman owned by Mr. Crow at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Jim had one leg shorter than the other and would perform a dance with a hop-jump step because of his disability. Jim Crow’s dance song was popularized by Thomas “Daddy” Rice, using Black face, for the amusement of white vaudeville audiences in the 1830’s. (It was also the first soft shoe dance.) By the 1840’s the term was used to describe 15 The adjective “intentional” is used because Grossberg’s article, “Cultural Studies Crossroads Blues”, makes numerous musical references. His article uses music (“The Crossroad Blues”) and the legend of Robert Johnson who sold his soul to the devil to become the greatest blues musician of all time as a metaphor for current cultural studies practices. Grossberg fears that cultural studies, in order to attain some form of legitimacy within the academy, is selling its soul. 16 Rice, Thomas D. (music & lyric). (1828). Jump Jim Crow. In Agay Denes (Ed.), (1975). Best loved songs of the American people, (p.64). New York: Doubleday. 28 separate railway cars for blacks and whites in the Northern States; the blacks riding in the “Jim Crow” car. By 1890 “Jim Crow took on additional force and meaning to denote the subordination and separation of black southerners, much of it codified and much of it still embedded by custom and habit” (Litwack, 1998, p. xiv).17 How the expression Jim Crow is used in language reinforces how racisms are institutionalized in everyday laws and customs. It is the work, in part, for cultural studies to identify how language (text) is used to sustain racist ideas in order to better understand and articulate social inequalities and representations of power. Leading cultural theorist Stuart Hall (1992) reiterates the importance of textual analysis: What cultural studies must do, and has the capacity to do, is to articulate insights about the constitutive and political nature of representation itself, about its complexities, about the effects of language, about texuality as a site of life and death” (Hall, 1992, p. 385).18 If music/lyrics can be used for embedding deadly essentialist ideas of identity, resulting in racisms and hate crimes, then it follows that music making also has the potential to embed ideas of peace and co-operation. In Tia DeNora’s Music in Everyday Life (2000) she notes that “we have very little sense of how music features within social process and next to no data on how real people actually press music into action in particular social spaces and temporal settings” (2000, p. 10). DeNora acknowledges this neglect 17 Litwack, Leon F. (1998). Trouble in mind: Black Southerners in the age of Jim Crow. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Random House. 29 is as common in the social sciences (with its cognitive bias) as in the arts and humanities (with their emphasis on text-objects). However, cultural studies appears to be one site that has, from time to time, taken up music as it pertains to identity formation and agency. Music as a popular narrative of social/historical representations of identity is highlighted in Paul Willis’s 1978 ethnography, Profane Culture, which conceives music as an active ingredient of social formation in the everyday lives of the working class “bikeboys” and middleclass “hippies.” Willis’ study was one of the first critical ethnographies to investigate popular music in everyday life and was pioneering in its demonstration of how music does more than depict or embody values. It portrayed music as active and dynamic. “It signaled a shift in focus from [viewing music as] aesthetic objects and their content (static) to the cultural practices in and through which aesthetic materials were appropriated and used (dynamic) to produce social life” (DeNora, 2000, p. 7).19 Music then can be characterized not only by sound but by action, and by interaction among makers of music-dance in everyday practices. Lee Hirsch’s remarkable film, Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony (2002), demonstrates music making’s liberating abilities during the apartheid period in South Africa as does Matt Mochary and Jeff Zimbalist film, Favela Rising (2005), which chronicles the formation of Afro-Reggae groups to provide music making as an alternative to street crime in the inner city slums (favelas) of Rio de Janeiro. These populist projects combine both documentary and 19 DeNora, Tia (2000). Music in everyday life. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 30 music to illustrate how music making can and does influence social change through action and interaction. The role of adult education In drawing further connection between cultural studies, music and critical theory, Raymond Williams (1989)20 notes that the origins of British cultural studies can be found in the informal and often marginalized field of adult education where music played a role in collaborative, collective community building: In the late 40’s, people were doing courses in the visual arts, in music, in town planning, and the nature of community, the nature of settlement, in film, in press, in advertising, in radio: courses which if they had not taken place in that notably underprivileged sector of education [namely adult education] would have been acknowledged much earlier (1989, p. 189). Grossberg (1997) and Wright (2004) also identify adult education as an origin of British Cultural Studies (upon which both Canada and the United States have largely modeled their versions of the historical origins of cultural studies). Although the origins of cultural studies are many and varied (see Wright, 1998)21, the adult education movement was and continues to be a site of contestation, struggle and organization upon which social movements such as feminism, anti-racism and labour mobilize. Budd Hall locates adult 20 Williams, R. (1989). The future of cultural studies. In The politics of modernism: Against the new conformists. London: Verso. 21 Wright, H. K. (1998). Dare we de-centre Birmingham? Troubling the origin and trajectories of cultural studies. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 1998, (1). 31 educators as major contributors to the theorizing of social movement learning because “the organizational or communicative mandate of all social movements is a necessarily educational concern” (Hall, 2006, 231). The legacy of social movement learning is similar to cultural studies’ legacy as a site of continual contestation over class, race and gender. Hall notes that “social movement learning is located in the heart of contestations over class, political, racial, gender, and/or other differences, existing within the climate of contestation” (Hall, 2006, 236). One example where adult education, social movement learning, and peace education converge (and could even represent a site of origin for cultural studies in the United States) is the Highlander Research and Education Centre. Founded in the 1930’s in Tennessee by Myles Horton and his wife Zilphia, Highlander’s turbulent story of community organizing is socially connected to terrains of resistance through economic, racial, gender and environmental justice. The first integrated co-operative in the American South, Highlander was an initiator of non-violent workshops during the civil rights movement. Because of Horton’s controversial stance in support of human rights for all Americans, Horton was hounded for several decades by the F.B.I. and his property was eventually seized by the state of Tennessee in 1962. Then, Highlander’s buildings mysteriously burnt to the ground. Myles Horton was not without hope: “You can destroy a place, but you can’t destroy an idea” (1969, p. 135).22 Highlander rebuilt, this time outside of New Market, Tennessee, and still continues to provide community- 22 From: Bledsoe, Thomas (1969). Or we’ll all hang separately: The Highlander idea. Boston: Beacon Press (p. 135). 32 based, non-violent adult education.23 Part of Highlander’s vitality has always been the inclusion of music as an active component of agency; music serving as a tool to promote collective identity and crucially as a tool for literacy. During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s, Highlander played an instrumental role in the creation of Citizenship Schools – adult education based literacy teaching for African Americans,24 which utilized music as both a mnemonic device and a community building tool. So how does music make such a connective power with words? Long time Highlander supporter and folksinger Pete Seeger (2008) suggests music makes connections with words because of the way that medium and meaning combine in song, the combination of form and structure uniting with an emotional message. Musical force comes from a sense of form; whereas ordinary speech doesn’t have quite that much organization. You can say what you mean, but similarly with painting or with cooking, or other arts, there is a form and design to music. And this becomes intriguing, it becomes something you can remember. Good music can leap over language barriers, and barriers of religion and politics, (Seeger, 2008, p. 13). 25 23 For more information on Highlander see http://www.highlandercenter.org/ 24 Used as a deterrent, (especially in the Southern United States), to enabling African Americans’ voting privileges, the state required citizens to pass a literacy test in order to register to vote. 25 Pete Seeger is quoted in Levitin, D. (2008).The world in six songs: how the musical brain created human nature. New York: Dutton, (quote appears on p. 13). 33 Drawing again on the idea of question spaces and transdisciplinary analysis, I now connect the role of adult education/literacy with recent work in neuroscience. Music’s ability to serve as a mnemonic devise is, as neuroscience claims, most likely a product of evolution. Levitin (2008) acknowledges music’s capacity as a highly efficient memory and transmission system in the following way: “Across history, song has been one of the primary ways in which life lessons are taught…well formed songs, combining musical and rhythmic redundancies with lyric message, facilitate both the encoding and transmission of important information” (2008, p. 239). Recent neurological research has also pointed out that singing together releases oxytocin, a neurochemical now known to be involved in establishing bonds of trust between people (Levitin, 2008, p. 51). Why oxytocin is released when people sing together is probably related evolutionarily to the social bonding function of music and, as Freeman (1990) suggests, “most likely evolution may have selected those individuals who could settle disputes in nonviolent ways such as music-dance” (p. 53).26 It appears there is now some empirical evidence to substantiate music’s capacity as a tool for peacekeeping/education and that our ability to make music has provided this peacekeeping capacity in continuum for many millenniums. Levitin, referencing Ian Cross, remarks that ultimately music developed as a communicative medium optimally adapted for the management of social uncertainly. “The very thing that music lacks – external referents – makes it optimal for situations of uncertainly and one that conveys an honest signal – a window into the true emotional and motivational state of the 26 Freeman, W. J. (1990) Societies of brains: A study in the neuroscience of love and hate. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. (Quoted by Levitin, p.53.) 34 communicator” (Levitin, 2008, p. 145). It is music’s capacity as a powerful communicative force binding us together through honest interactions that indicates the enormous potential for music to be utilized within education pedagogy as a tool for peace. A Critical Theory of Peace To proceed any further with this conversation there is a need to develop a framework for discussing peace as once again, we encounter another highly contested term. I turn now to O’Sullivan, who in “Dimensions of Power: Education for Peace, Social Justice and Diversity,” takes on the task of defining peace: “If peace could be paraphrased it would be as people affirming and experiencing connectedness empathetically. It has to be based on everyday living experience of people. It has to be done out of encountering each others’ stories” (O’Sullivan, 1999, p. 174). In many ways O’Sullivan’s definition articulates a similar dynamic process with how we have defined music and that this connectedness – this accord, as our conversation suggests, is also experienced by encountering each others’ stories through music and lyric. Although cultural studies has shed light upon the complexities and performativity of song lyrics, its recent post-structural focus on lyrics does not articulate the dynamic nature of music but rather treats lyrics as a separate and somewhat static component of music. More crucial to our conversation, though, is that the post-structural turn in cultural studies has left little room for cultural workers whose intent in cultural practice is one of informing peace education through experiential social justice praxis. Currently, 35 there are cultural practitioners and theorists who want to reposition cultural studies within the discourse of social justice praxis and human rights. For example, Keyan Tomaselli (2000) calls for a return to the social versus the textually based analysis of popular culture, informing cultural studies as performative inquiries utilizing participatory, community-based experiences in the field. Tomaselli and Arnold Shepperson (2004) in developing the construct of dynamic justice – the value ideas of freedom and life chances – challenge cultural studies to return to the basically moral project of inquiry into social justice and suggest that this inquiry have global reach. They note that although post structuralism has advanced our understanding of the complexities of text objects and actions of consumerism, it has done little in the area to advance human rights. Critical studies of consumer culture abound, for example, but have no real impact on human rights and dynamic justice. The principle that once legitimated the right to resist oppression has been replaced with one that seems merely to trumpet the inalienable right to consume, to run up debt, and to engage in ecstasies of conspicuous consumption (2004, p. 262). Ultimately, the goal of dynamic justice is the “radical utopia: the making of the best possible sociopolitical world,” (Tomaselli &, Shepperson 2004, 261). Their construct of dynamic justice reinforces actions of transdisciplinarity, performativity and human rights and has implications for peace pedagogy whereby the goal of social justice is praxis, which, as Freire affirms, is “reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it” (Freire, 1970, p. 33). 36 Making music as pedagogy of hope One of Freire’s major contributions to the field of peace education is the insight that both education and hope are a form of politics. Just as Freire believes that trust is essential for establishing dialogue, he also claims that dialogue cannot exist without hope, what Freire terms radical hope. Lesley Barlett further articulates the contribution of Freirean critical pedagogy towards the development of peace education: Freire’s philosophy thoroughly informs peace education pedagogy and practice …and provides the foundation of peace education’s hope for a link between education and social transformation. His insistence on dialogue and his discussion of egalitarian relations provide the basis for peace education pedagogy”(Barlett, 2008, p. 5). Radical hope as critical pedagogy is further conceptualized by scholars such as Henry Giroux whose work is rooted in Freire’s notion of radical hope. Giroux’s concept of an ideal pedagogy illustrates how “moral and political agency coming together to inspire both a discourse of hope and a political project that takes seriously what it means to envision a better life and society” (Giroux, 1988, p. 38). Diaz-Soto, again rooted in a Freirean analysis of power with the aim of consciousness raising, calls for “border crossing” and a reliance on “love as a paradigm” (Diaz-Soto, 2005, p. 96).27 An example of using music making to apply pedagogy of hope is the recent work in critical ethnography of Canadian educator and cultural theorist, Brett Lashua (2006), 27 Diaz-Soto, Lourdes & Swadener, Beth (Eds.). (2005). Power & voice in research with children. New York: P. Lang. 37 who in “‘Just Another Native?’ Soundscapes, Chorasters, and Borderlands in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada,” investigates how using rap music can give First Nations teenagers in Edmonton secondary schools a sense of place and identity formation within the context of their often alienating urban environment. Lashua’s ethnography illustrate how his students, making music through rap lyrics, developed stories which became an education about “the self” and its relation to the world and to others in it. Paul Willis claims that “making messages and meaning in your own context and from materials you have appropriated is, in essence a form of education in the broadest sense,” (Willis, 1990, p. 137). 28 Crucial to Willis’ argument is the process of making versus receiving and why making music serves to further illustrate the potential for both inclusion and resistance in everyday lives. In terms of educational practices, both Willis and Lashau underscore the necessity of utilizing common/popular culture (and by extension music making) in relevant educational pedagogy: In so far as educational practices are still predicated on traditional liberal humanistic lines and on the assumed superiority of high art, they will become almost totally irrelevant to the real energies and interests of most young people and have no part in their identity formation. Common culture will, increasingly, undertake in its own ways, the role that education vacated…We need an altogether new approach to education” (Willis, 1990, p. 147).29 28 From: Grossberg, 1997, p. 382. 29 From: Grossberg, 1997, p. 381. 38 In particular, twenty-first century music making in the western and affluent worlds is being made, disseminated and shared in the virtual worlds of You Tube and My Space. It is in these virtual sites that identities are explored (and in some cases exploited) producing a cultural dynamic (or as Williams suggests a community of process) that educators must begin to access as potential pedagogy, or we will be left behind. By filtering this conversation through a cultural studies framework as we develop a critical theory of peace that is based on dynamic justice and radical hope, we see that the sites of adult education and critical ethnography continue to operate as spaces whereby the dynamics of music making successfully promote connections between and among people to further collective social justice goals. In fact, it is in the two often marginalized fields of adult education and critical ethnography where the most dynamic work can be found. There is also the escalating use of virtual space that indicates there are a broad range of opportunities, as yet underexplored within more formal educational settings, to incorporate music making and forms of popular culture as a core component of peace pedagogy. A final point In supporting an approach to education that incorporates popular cultural practices to advance peace pedagogy, I come to the final point of our conversation. Making music to promote peace makes sense because it is, among many other things, just plain fun. Levitin notes: “a principle of evolution is that, in general, if something feels good, 39 evolution must have made it so – evolution must have provided a reward mechanism for synchronized movement and music making, in the same way that evolution provided mechanisms of reward when we eat and have sex” (Levitin, 2008, p. 54). Apparently, humans have been crossing borders and relating through their music making prior to languages being developed on into the present day. And, just as importantly, music, as I have tried to relay in this conversation, continues to function as an agent of hope. Whether it interrogates our perception of time, helps us understand our past in the context of our present, or connects personal to communal identities through the dynamics of gender, sexuality, race, class and nation, music embodies and helps us understand human experiences (Pasler, 2008, p. 4). The preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) declares: “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”30 Given the evidence of music’s peace building capacities, then constructing peace in the minds of men by promoting music making may be a good place to begin. 30UNESCO Constitution: http://www.icomos.org/unesco/unesco_constitution.html 40 References Appiah, K. A. (2006). Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a world of strangers. New York: W.W. Norton and Company. Barrett, L. (2008). In Encyclopedia of peace education, Columbia University: Teachers College. Retrieved from: http://www.infoagepub.com/products/Encyclopedia-of-Peace-Education Cage, J. (1990). An autobiographical statement. Southwest Review, 76, 59-76. Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (2001). Education for Peace, Human, Rights, Democracy, International Understanding and Tolerance: Report of Canada. By the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. [pdf file] DeNora, T. (2003). Music in everyday life. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Diaz-Soto, L. & Swadener, B. (Eds.). (2005). Power & voice in research with children. New York: P. Lang. Evatt Foundation website. Peace march stops the big city! Globalization & Social justice. Retrieved from: http://evatt.labor.net.au/news/183.html Freeman, W. J. (1990). Societies of brains: A study in the neuroscience of love and hate. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. (Myra Bergman-Ramos, Trans.). New York: Herder and Herder. Gaye, M., Cleveland, A., & Benson, R. (1970). What’s going on. Hollywood, CA: Jobette Music. Grossberg, L. (1998). The cultural studies’ crossroads blues. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 1 (1), 65-82. Grossberg, L. (1997). Bringing it all back home: Pedagogy and cultural studies (1994) in Bringing it all back home: Essays on cultural studies, (pp. 374-390). Durham: Duke University Press. Hall, B. (2006). Social movement learning: Theorizing a Canadian tradition. In T. Fenwick, T. Nesbit and B. Spencer (Eds.), Contexts of adult education: Canadian perspectives (pp. 118- 127). Toronto, ON: Thompson Educational Publishing. Hall, S. (1992). Cultural studies and its theoretical legacies. In L. Grossberg, C. Nelson, & P. Treichler (Eds.), Cultural studies, (pp. 277-94). New York: Routledge. Highlander Research and Education Center. Retrieved from: http://www.highlandercenter.org/ Hirsch, L. (director). (2002). Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony. [Motion picture]. USA: Lions Gate Entertainment. 41 Horton, M. (1990b). We make the road by walking: Conversations on education and social change, (Brenda Bell, John Gaventa, and John Peters, Eds.). Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Hunt, L.A. Pearl (2002). The Highlander way. Unpublished master’s thesis, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Hunt, L.A. Pearl. (2003). Pianos for Peace. (music). Registered SOCAN. All rights reserved. "Jim Crow" (or "Jump Jim Crow") Published by Firth & Hall, NYC (undated, but probably from the 1820's) Retrieved from: http://www.musicals101.com/lycrow.htm. Litwack, L. (1998). Trouble in mind: Black Southerners in the age of Jim Crow. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Random House. Loeb, P. (Ed.). (2004).The impossible will take a little while: A citizen’s guide to hope in a time of fear. New York: Basic Books. Levitin, D. (2008). The world in six songs: How the musical brain created human nature. New York: Dutton. Lewis, G. E. (2008). Foreward to J. Pasler Writing through music: Essays on music, culture, and politics, (pp. vii-xi). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mezirow, J. (2000). Learning as transformation: critical perspectives on a theory in progress. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Monisha B. (Ed.) (2008). ‘Critical’ Peace Education. Online Encyclopedia of Peace Education. Retrieved from http://www.tc.edu/centers/epe/PDF%20articles/Bajaj_ch16_22feb08.pdf Murray, E. (1986). Imaginative thinking and human existence. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press. Oppenheim, J (words) & Kohlsaat, K (music) (1912). Bread and Roses. In Fowke, E. & Glazer, J. (Eds.), (1973). Songs of Work and Protest (pp. 70-71). New York: Dover Publications. (Original work published 1960 by Labor Education Division of Roosevelt University. O’ Sullivan, E. (1999). Dimensions of power: Education for peace, social justice and diversity. Transformative Learning: Educational Vision for the 21st Century, (pp.134-176). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Pasler, J. (2008). Writing through music: Essays on music, culture, and politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Playing for Change Foundation. (2009). Playing for change: Peace through music. Retrieved from: http://www.flixxy.com/peace-through-music.htm Rajagopal, B. (2003). International law from below: Development, social movements and third world resistance. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 42 Reardon, B. (1988). Comprehensive peace education: Educating for global responsibility. New York: Teachers College Press. Rice, Thomas D. (music & Lyric). (1828).Jump Jim Crow. In Agay Denes (Ed.), (1975). Best loved songs of the American people (p.64). New York: Doubleday. Smyth, J., Shacklock, G., & Hattam, R. (1999). Doing critical cultural studies: An antidote to being done to. Discourse: Studies in Cultural Politics of Education, 20 (1), 73-87. Tomaselli, K.G. (2000). Recovering Praxis: Cultural Studies in Africa. European Journal of Cultural Studies 1 (3) 387-402. Tomaselli K. & Shepperson A. (2004). Cultural studies is the crisis: Culturalism and dynamic justice. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 4 (2), 257-268. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Constitution. Retreived from: http://www.icomos.org/unesco/unesco_constitution.html United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Declaration and programme of action on a culture of peace (UN/GA/A/Res/53/243). Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/cpp/uk/declarations/2000.htm United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Peace, human rights and democracy education. Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/education/ecp/publicat/brochure/english/intro.html Willis, P. (1978). Profane culture. London: Routledge. Willis, P. (1990). Common culture: Symbolic work at play in the everyday cultures of the young. Philadelphia: Open University Press. Willis, P. (2000). The ethnographic imagination. Malden, MA: Polity Press. Wright, H.K. (1996). Take Birmingham to the curb, Here comes African cultural studies: An exercise in revisionist historiography. University of Toronto Quarterly, 65 (2), 355-365. Reprinted in European Journal of Cultural Studies, 1998 (1). Wright, H. K., & Maton, K. (2004). Cultural studies and education: From Birmingham origin to glocal presence. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 26 (2-3), 73-89. Zimbalist, J. & Mochary, M. (director and producers), (2005). Favela Rising [Motion picture]. USA: ThinkFilm and HBO. 43 3: LOSING AND FINDING MY WESTERN BAGGAGE: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL CASE FOR RELOCATING HUMAN RIGHTS WITHIN CULTURAL STUDIES DISCOURSE1 Introduction What is it about music that allows people to transcend difference? Can what we learn about music’s abilities inform an enhanced conversation of difference and be applied to the theory of education and critical pedagogy? These questions form the basis of my inquiry into music and social change, an investigation that I have largely focused in North America during the twentieth century (Hunt, 2002). I had the opportunity to further this inquiry and explore the structural roots of music while participating in an adult education conference at the source of the River Nile in Uganda (2004). The following personal narrative articulates my experiences in Africa and is an attempt to counter the dominant paternalistic hegemony often ascribed towards Africa and its people. In the course of actually losing my luggage, I became aware of Africa and the Africans I met as a place and people of generosity and discovery. In particular, I have been inspired by what Africans, writing both within the continent and in the diaspora, continue to offer to both cultural studies theory and cultural practices. It is within the framework of cultural studies and human rights theory that I begin to identify a space in which music operates as a collective entity. 1 A version of this chapter has been published. Hunt, Pearl (2007). Losing my western baggage: an autobiographical case for relocating human rights within cultural studies discourse. Journal for Contemporary Issues in Education, 2 (2), 38–52. 44 By building north-south and east-west dialogues, working within and outside the academy, African intellectuals, activists and artists continue to enrich our cultural landscape. My writing is an initial attempt to demonstrate the need to develop a more inclusive critical pedagogy that will benefit from the work of African scholarship and practice. In this article, I move between auto-ethnographic field notes and cultural theories, conveying my learning process as I encountered Africa and Africans, both by being on the continent and in reading the work of Africans on the continent and in the diasporas. I examine the interplay and tensions of collective identities and human rights agency as representative cultural and structural components of social change. In particular, I examine how music in communal performance becomes a site that allows our collective identities to become manifest. By examining the fields of cultural studies and social movement discourse, I offer reflections upon the significant contributions which African cultural studies has made to the development of a praxis-based cultural studies. How this praxis is realized through performative acts is central to articulating my cultural work within social justice movements and is also an attempt to further the discussion of development and its relationship to both cultural studies and peace education pedagogy. 45 Entebbe, Uganda: 23:05, June 6, 2004 The plane touched down on the runway of Entebbe’s airport at 23:05 June 6, 2004, just as scheduled. I had been in the air for almost two days, leaving Vancouver, Canada at 13:00 on June 5th with transfers in London-Heathrow and Nairobi, Kenya. And now, here I was in the airport of Entebbe, Uganda, with my carry-on handbag and my Gibson guitar in its beat-up hard case, the case I had schlepped across the skies in my makeshift wheelie cart that became more of a hassle than help. My checked baggage, though, was nowhere to be found. The airport was bustling, as were the green suited, red tasseled, extra security due to the Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni’s imminent arrival. Surrounded by colour – people wearing loose fitting traditional printed shirts and skirts to tailored suits – I could feel the midnight heat. I was longing to get out of these close quarters and into the African night. Eventually we were stewarded into a receiving area to get our documentation and passports stamped. My official documentation listed me as NGO (Non Governmental Organization) Input. My purpose of this travel was to gather with a transnational collective of peace educators to attend the global conference Mpambo – One People, Multiple Dreams of a Different World. Over two hundred participants were expected from Nigeria, Sweden, USA, UK, Lesotho, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Ghana, Guyana, Jamaica, Egypt, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Australia, Botswana, Canada, Switzerland, Pakistan, and Uganda. The conference was the third in a series of international conferences exploring alternatives for people and planet; the first held in New Delhi, India in 46 February 2001; and the second in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in November 2003. The paper I was presenting entitled, Music as a Vehicle to Balance Education and Transformative Praxis, was safely tucked into the side pocket of my checked baggage- the same baggage that got lost somewhere between Vancouver and Entebbe. Losing my baggage became symbolic of my travels in Uganda. Without my western baggage, I had to rely on the resources of the people and place. This, in turn, led me to not only to be more open to the experience of Africa and the generosity of the people I met there, but also, I began to question the western baggage we bring to the study of Africa. In order to counter this dominant western narrative I am putting this baggage aside for the time being. A Few Theoretical Observations Culture is always a step ahead of its definitions and descriptions. – Spivak, 2006, p. 360 To begin, I want to position myself within the framework of cultural studies. In terms of what Handel Wright (2003) and others identify as activist cultural studies, I have been a cultural worker for over thirty years, beginning in the populist theatre movement in Canada in the 1970’s and the Fluxus inspired performance art movement of the 1970’s and 1980’s that sought to relocate aesthetics within a socio-political context.2 2 Fluxus – a way of fusing certain radical social attitudes with ever–evolving aesthetic practices. Initially received as little more than an international network of pranksters, the admittedly playful artists of Fluxus 47 Originating through the artist run center, the Western Front, in Vancouver, B.C., the work was largely concerned with informing both content and form in an interdisciplinary and collaborative context. What began as our experimental initiatives in media and performance in the early 1970’s are now part of mainstream popular culture, as example, the music video.3 Fluxus artists, such as Yoko Ono, continue to transform and question the idea of public space and performance. In a recent Ono installation “Wish Tree”, as part of World Peace Forum (2006),4 visitors were invited to write down their wishes for the world on paper tags (leaves) and attached them with string to several fabricated trees. The installation, situated in the downtown east side of Vancouver, had messages ranging from hoping for a “ham sandwich” to prayers for “world peace.” Ono’s work is representative of the way in which cultural practice can be connected to social movements and by extension cultural theory. It is with a similar intention of connecting cultural work with social justice praxis that I embark on African cultural studies. Cultural studies is a product of relocating social justice within academic discourse but this relocation is often clothed in northern/western epistemologies that continue to marginalize nonwestern states. Lawrence Grossberg (2004) reiterates this problem, were, and remain, a network of radical visionaries who have sought to change political and social, as well as aesthetic, perception. 3 Example of these videos can be found in archival collections at the National Gallery, Ottawa and the Western Front Society, Vancouver. BC. See: Hunt L. A. Pearl (1980). Entertainment Tonight; Metcalfe, Eric (1980) Steel and Flesh (1980), my lyrics and music for “Hot For You Baby”; and Dean, Tom (1982) Fear of Blue. 4 International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Vancouver, B.C., 2004. The centre is located in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side, which is infamous for being the poorest postal code in Canada. 2006 media reports indicated there are over 1,000 homeless in this area. 48 “The ‘proper’ voice of cultural studies is almost always, with a kind of unreflective inevitability that is frightening considering what we claim to be doing, located within the West, and even more, within the English speaking world, and even more, in Britain and the United States” (2004, p. xiv)5. Throughout the populist theatre explosion in Canada during the 1970’s, I resisted institutionalized, repertory theatres and British and American authors in favour of collective and collaborative open-air creations. Yet, I was still largely influenced by the Brechtian model of populist theatre and did not look beyond western or Euro-centric performative expressions. In Africa, during this same period (1976-77), emerged the People’s Theatre at Kamiriithu Community Education and Cultural Centre in Limuru, Kenya. This open-air theatre was comprised of a company of poor peasants, factory workers, and primary school teachers working collectively on collaboratively developed scripts. Playwright and political dissident, Ngugi Wa Thiong’O writes of that time as “the most exciting in my life and the true beginning of my education. I discovered the creative nature and power of collective work” (1997, p.133)6. I am highlighting the work of this theatre group to illustrate that the populist theatre movement of the 1970’s was intrinsic to education and social justice and that it appears to have occurred not only in western cultural movements but also in nonwestern revolutionary movements. 5 Quote from: Wright, H. (2004). Introduction. In A Prescience of African cultural studies. New York: Peter Lang. 6 From: Thiong’o, Ngugi Wa, (1997). Women in cultural work: The fate of the Kaminiithu People’s Theatre in Kenya (p 131-138). In Barber, Karin, Readings in African popular culture. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. 49 The Kamiriithu People’s Theatre is central to the discourse in advancing African cultural studies as expressed in Handel Wright’s (1996) pivotal work, “Take Birmingham to the Curb, Here Comes African Cultural Studies: An Exercise in Revisionist Historiography.” Western cultural studies seems to be oblivious to developments on or in and from the African continent and Wright’s article pointed to this absence of Africa in genealogies of cultural studies by suggesting counter hegemony to the dominant western location (my italics) of cultural studies. Wright proposes an alternate account to locating the origins of cultural studies in such movements as the 1920’s in Russia, the Harlem renaissance, the negritude movement of the 1930’s, and the Kamiriithu community project in Kenya. Although not denying the importance of the Birmingham movement (Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies – CCCS), Wright’s basic identification of cultural studies is linked to the criterion of “performative acts” mostly operating beyond the academy. Instead these performative acts were community situated and inclusive of both males and females. Keyan Tomaselli’s (2000) article, “Recovering praxis: Cultural studies in Africa,” is a response to Wright and in it Tomaselli pushes the counter hegemony argument further by suggesting that in the rush to publish, linked as it is to markets, money and power, praxis has been displaced and we are left with empty theorizing or navel gazing. In a later publication, Tomeselli (2001) laments the current trends in research methodologies whereby academics have distanced themselves from the field and fieldwork: These are the scholarcrats of the international academocracy who often pour scorn on field workers who write about their research experiences in terms of 50 arrival tropes, environmental hardships, and basic survival in remote and often dangerous places (Tomeselli, 2001, p. 283). Historical context As inquiry, cultural studies was originally concerned with the study of power relations and democratization (my italics). In the 1970s and 1980s cultural studies was preoccupied with the debate between the structuralist and culturalists whereby the structuralists deconstructed existing power relations, which gave little voice to human agency and the culturalists emphasized experience, class as consciousness and historically grounded descriptions of social conditions.7 The disappearance of the social in much post 1990 cultural studies shifted attention away from material factors and encouraged a form of textually based analysis of the “popular”, “difference” and subcultures of style. “Where the culturalist tradition had potential as a method applicable in policy and human rights research, the post structuralist had made little impact in this area” (Tomeselli, 2004, p. 258). Wright (1998) also notes that the institutionalization of cultural studies has diminished “the possibility of conceptualizing and utilizing cultural studies as a tool that accomplishes certain socio-political ends both within the academy and, more importantly, in communities and society at large (p. 37). 7 From: Tomaselli, K.G. (2004). Cultural studies is the crisis: Culturalism and dynamic justice. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 4 (2), 257-268. 51 The maturation of cultural studies as a commodity and its post-structural focus on the performativity of text as an endgame in and of itself has left little room for those whose intent in cultural practice is one of informing peace education through experiential social justice praxis. However, there seems to be a growing number of nonwestern cultural practitioners and theorists who want to reposition cultural studies within the discourse of social justice and human rights. Tomaselli’s (2004) idea of dynamic justice, the value ideas of freedom and life chances, demands that cultural studies returns to the basically moral project of inquiry into social justice and that this inquiry have global reach. The idea of dynamic justice can frame a research area with a plurality of disciplines carrying on inquiry into a single topic. Dynamic justice then refers to cooperative research involving many disciplines and, as Tomaselli suggests, “ought to remain the guiding principal of cultural studies” (p. 263). He calls for a return to the social versus the textually based analysis of popular culture, informing cultural studies as performative inquiries utilizing participatory, community-based experiences in the field: Life skills and health education projects drawing on cultural studies and action research, participatory communication, Augusto Boal’s performative strategies and Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy, has become the norm across a range of activities all over Africa. Rather than necessarily assuming the dichotomy between the head (academy) and the hand (the terrain of popular experience), many of these applications linked educational institutions and grass roots initiatives with communities and of struggle, across the continent” (Tomaselli, 2000, p. 390). 52 This same ideology brought Mpambo delegates – educators, activists, artists and investors in academe, civil society and the private and public sectors – to Jinga, Uganda, in order to develop a North/South dialogue that explored cross-cultural, cross paradigmatic and inter-civilization frameworks. This inclusive framework allowed participants to move towards a hegemony that countered the western canon and gave voice to those voices that have been silenced or forgotten. Budd Hall (2000) articulates the movement within both the academy and the local community which draws attention to the situation that subordinates people’s knowledges, histories and experiences that have been left out of academic texts, discourse and classroom pedagogies, or have been erased from them. “These hitherto silent and silenced voices are no longer willing to accept the status quo and are urging that the problems associated with systemization and commodification of knowledge be addressed” (2000, p. 3). Hall also cautions against a western tendency to essentialize Africa and Africans by seeing the continent and its people as having a united agenda. Hall writes: “The fact that Mpambo exists is in fact as resistance to the dominant ideology in Uganda that, if left unchecked, will result in the death of Mother Tongue languages and the total relegation of African historic knowledge even further to the margins.” 8 Yet, here we were, people gathered together who dared to dream of a different world of peace, social progress, justice, self-determination and solidarity, using principles of 8 Hall, B. (personal correspondence, Feb. 20th, 2010). Hall notes that “For everyone in Africa or Uganda for that matter that is drawn into the inclusive Mother Tongue oral traditions of the Mpambo vision, there are 50 or more (including some who were at the Nile river conference) who are moving forward in harmony towards a) global capitalism, b) fundamentalist Christianity c) English language as the only medium of instruction in schools, etc world.” 53 participatory (practice based) education pedagogy. “In participatory research all members of the community support one another in an ongoing manner to actively inform the purpose, context, methodology and emerging data of the work” (Hall, 2000, p. xiii).9 This methodology facilitates a community of both learners and educators. Lake Victoria: June 8, 2004 At night the fish boat lights glimmer across the surface of Lake Victoria, a pearl necklace bobbing in the midnight sky, revealing the shadows of fishermen casting their moon-silvered nets out into the cool waters of the deep lake – so still at night for fishing. Dawn comes around 5:00 am, an hour or so after my neighbour James throws his late night flashlight across my covered, curtained windows. James, a boisterous African American from Chicago and Viet Nam veteran, has given me laundry tips for my meager wardrobe. The trick is to throw your clothes in the shower and stomp on them while you’re washing…then just rinse and hang to dry. He’s also supplied me with a key ring flashlight so I can get into my room at night. I have discovered the benefits of ordering coffee, for next to nothing, at my room in the morning. I sit on my balcony and watch the light come up across the lake as the fish boats come ashore. This great Lake Victoria, which just a decade ago conveyed the bloated remnants of Rwanda’s carnage, thousands of bodies swept towards the dam at 9“From: Preface. In Dei, Hall, & Rosenberg (Eds.). (2000). Indigenous knowledges in global contexts. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press. 54 the source of the River Nile. Perhaps they were returning home for the final time. As I sit here on the balcony sipping coffee with my white privileged view of Lake Victoria, it seems impossible to imagine the etymology of the Rwandan ethnic conflict and especially how the rest of the world (including myself) abandoned the Rwandan people. In Appiah’s (1992) chapter, “African Identities”, from In My Father’s House, he provides a cautionary note in looking at Africans from a position that has been largely theorized as “racial” or “tribal”. As a theorist, he claims it is impossible for him to live through the “falsehoods of race and tribe and nation”, whose understanding of history makes him skeptical that “nationalism and race solidarity can do the good that they can do without the attendant evils of racism; without the warring of nations” (p. 175). Appiah seems to foretell the horrors, which were visited upon Rwanda because of this “tribal” divide, as the “constantly shifting redefinition of tribal identities to meet the economic and political exigencies of the modern world” (p. 177). Many people at the conference were returning to Africa for the first time in their family’s history and it was an extremely emotional and moving event to witness. Much of the conference was related to witnessing and reclaiming heritage. This meant moving beyond the colonial dictated nation states and bringing forward the indigenous knowledge of cultures, which were repressed and in some cases eradicated through colonization. Paulo Wangoola’s philosophy to rekindle the African spirit is embodied in Mpambo as a “living symbol of true African spirit, identity, and consciousness, and of the commitment to diversity in nature and in social life” (2000, p. 274). 55 Mpambo is a popular movement – a forum for individuals, groups, institutions, and other parties interested in promoting African thought and development. As an education-cum development ideology, it utilizes people’s heritage and creative energies to promote development. Central to the development objectives is Mpambo Multiversity, a community knowledge bank from which the community and others can draw on the basis of need. “A multiversity differs from a university insofar as it recognizes that the existence of alternative knowledges as important to human knowledge as a whole,” (Wangloola, 2000, p. 273). It believes that a new synthesis between indigenous knowledges and modern scientific knowledge is necessary to provide sustainable solutions within African communities. Mpambo‘s conference theme was about dreams and renewal. The word Mpambo in Lusoga refers to that collectivity of excellent seeds that is held back from the harvest for planting in the next year and this global conference, at the source of the Nile River, cultivated seeds in our hearts and minds as we began to develop alternatives for global justice through education. By bridging both indigenous knowledge and contemporary global methods, we combined ritual and discourse to create a body of knowledge that premises all knowledges as having value and therefore all voices have equal value. As an example of how we combined the past with the present, we performed an opening ceremony ritual. Paulo had emailed us prior to leaving for the conference and asked us to bring a small amount of water and earth from our homes. After the King, His Majesty, Isebantu Kyabazinga of the Busoga Kingdom, gave his opening remarks we individually placed our earth and water in a large clay urn and planted a tree. The tree became the symbol of our collective knowledge and identities. 56 Hotel Triangle: June 9, 2004 Olasumbo has left a note tucked into my door suggesting I come down to her room and get some clothes. Down in her room, Olasumbo explained that since I was away from my Nigerian partner, it was the Nigerian custom for her to take on the role of the husband. Well, Olasumbo, Virgie, and Anthonia gave me the most beautiful clothes – they are wearable works of art: a fitted, pink, hand-painted outfit; a wrap- around tie dyed, blue skirt and top, which we agreed I should wear for my presentation; and a pink cotton nightgown for bedtime. I’m completely set now. It is strange how much of our identity is tied up in what we wear…what we present to the world. The girls (Oh, I know they are not girls, they are women all in their fifties and what powerful forceful women they are!) and I have formed a pact of sisterhood. Appiah observes in “Who’s Culture Is It Anyway?” (2006)10 the connection to art through identity is powerful. “Another connection, the one neglected in talk of cultural patrimony, is the connection not through identity but despite difference. We can respond to art that is not ours; indeed we can fully respond to our art only if we move beyond thinking of it as ours and start to respond to it as art. But equally important is the human connection. They are among the realest connections we have” (p. 135). 10 From: Appiah, K.A. (2006). Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a world of strangers. New York: W.W. Norton and Company. 57 Collective Identities The African could only say I am, because we are: and since we are, therefore I am. – J.S. Mbiti, 1969, p. 108. The notion of collective identities is found in many African and indigenous cultures that see the other as embodied in the self. Feminist theory calls this idea “the full self.” 11 A core objective of Mpambo is to halt the erosion of African collective identities. Within these collective identities storytelling is a major contributing component. There is a familiar African tale told by Appiah in his philosophical work In My Fathers House: a peasant is stopped by a traveler in a large car and asked the way to the capital. “Well,” she relies, after pondering the matter for a while, “if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here,” (Appiah, 1992, p. 26). So, I am going to step away from cultural studies theories for a moment and look specifically at social movement and human rights discourse. We can then begin to see that collective identities play a crucial role in the relationship between culture and social movements. Western liberal epistemology, with its predominant focus on the individual, does not prescribe to a notion of collective identities. As Ignatieff, a liberal human rights scholar suggests: “There is no identity we can recognize in our universal. There is no such thing as love of the human race” (1984, p. 52).12 Rajagopal (2003) a nonwestern human 11 I first became aware of this concept while visiting Highlander Research and Education Center, Tennessee, in 2000. This construct is articulated in The Highlander Way (Hunt, 2002, p. 39) 12 Ignatieff, Michael (1984). The Needs of Strangers. Toronto: Elizabeth Sifton Books, (pp. 52-53). 58 rights scholar, suggests that social movements arise as a challenge to liberalism, Marxism and by extension to extant theories of international law, including human rights law by enacting a unique form of politics, which he labels cultural politics. “What distinguishes social movements from human rights theory is that they result from the actual struggles of people, and not from an abstract a priori conception” (p. 253). In short, Rajagopal suggests that social movements seek to redefine the very definition of democracy by reconstituting the basis of civil society through counter hegemonic action. Mario Diani (1992) identifies the following general elements in a social movement: 1) It involves a network of informal interactions between a plurality of actors. 2) It is engaged in political or cultural conflicts 3) It organizes on the basis of shared beliefs and collective identities. The final elements of shared beliefs and collective identities again raise issues of how collective identities are formed. Some suggest that consensus mobilization is an ongoing part of a movement formation while others acknowledge that irreconcilable differences lead to a “process or realignment and negotiation between actors” (Rajagopal, 2003, p. 239). Rajagopal (2003) believes that both these processes occur in many social movements, often simultaneously. “As gaps between different actors widen and consensus eludes them, realignment of identities begins to occur. This process is wholly different from the ‘right to identity’ approach adopted by international law, which looks at identity as merely an individual choice” (p. 240). 59 Outreach: late afternoon, June 10, 2004 Part of planting Mpambo seeds was conducting outreach work within the community schools and I was asked to give a lecture on music and social change to a group of young women at a teacher training college. As it turned out, it was only our small little Canadian contingent that went on the outreach mission, as transportation became a logistic nightmare, and our delegation was required to walk several kilometers in the blazing African heat. In rural Uganda, people walk. The experience of walking in Uganda alone is overwhelming because the soil, a deep iron oxide red, feels ancient. One gets a sense that the earth knows the bare feet of its ancestors – forgiving, regenerative and constant. I wondered how many generations of people passed across this same road, this same worn, red, sandy earth. The notion of kinship with the earth, animals and plants is deeply ingrained among the people. “I remember as a little boy growing up on the plains of Busoga, begin troubled for days when I accidentally killed an ant” (Wangoola, 2000, p. 26). Figure 3.1 On the road. This earth emanates a history of war, famine and dissent. The African migrates about the continent and thereby creates multicultural and transformative communities. These are exiles, expatriates of nation states with languages that evolved to reflect the different ethnicities and vernaculars. Yet, English – of the British variety – is still the language of learning. The school we visited was fashioned on the British tradition of Head Master and male teachers. To have a woman lecturer/instructor was a bit of a novelty. We arrived an hour late. The girls, by then, were involved in kitchen duties so, we faced a pack of rambunctious and hungry teenage boys. Teenage boys will be boys no matter where they are. Hormones are hormones – a global fact! I had prepared a program based on Canadian folk music to illustrate some of the social justice issues in Canada – the environment, the land rights of First Nations peoples. But 60 61 this college was a rural school, isolated from the world – there was no sense of globalization here. These students were not only unfamiliar with Canada – they had never even heard of Canada! So Canada was a foreign land and my Canadian accent was unintelligible. My first song “Clear Cut Trees”13 was about the massive clear cutting practices of global forestry companies. The class of teenage boys had neither concept of clear-cutting nor chain saws. Needless to say, the chain saw chorus was beyond comprehension – perhaps they thought this noise of the chain saws was a version of Canadian throat singing! Although they were trying to be polite and clapped after the song, I could tell I wasn’t reaching any one. Some outreach! It is interesting to note that the construct of outreach can mean going beyond one’s reach. I was demonstrating the definition or as they say in comedy – I was dying out there. I was not saved by the dinner bell but rather by the musical director who stepped in and conducted a series of songs with which the boys were familiar. It was obvious these young men could sing with great enthusiasm and harmony as their sound filled the music room and spilled into the courtyard beyond. In particular, the boys liked a song with a beat – an ostinato – an up-tempo tune to capture their interest – to get them engaged. I began to clap a rhythm of Mmobomme,14 an adaptation of an Ashanti prayer song, a fusion of African and Canadian music and lyrics. Shawn Hall, my Canadian cohort, applied a strong beat on his guitar and, with the director leading the boys, 13 Kenyon, Lindsay (1999/90). Clear Cut Trees, (lyrics and music). On Loyal Dog [CD]. Vancouver, BC: Scruff Rock Music. Performed with permission. 14 Hunt, Pearl (2004). Mmobomm, (lyrics and music). First performed at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, B.C., April, 2004. 62 together we clapped, danced and sang. Through this song, we finally began to connect – to share. By describing my inability to “translate without the master”15, I am reflecting upon the difficulty, complexity and multi-directionality that occurs when attempting translation across difference. Here it was obvious I was beyond reach until both the music director (master) and my colleague Shawn (a young man, himself) engaged the learners and translated with me. I also began to grasp the meaning of “outreach”: communication can only commence when first we “reach out” to establish a commonality. Music appears to establish a commonality as it functions beyond the specifics of a lexicon of ethnicity – even if one cannot understand the language, music creates meaning from rhythms. Cultural theorist Raymond Williams (1961) notes that “...it seems clear from what we already know that rhythm is a way of transmitting a description of experience, in such a way that the experience is re-created in the person receiving it, not merely as an “abstraction” or an emotion but as a physical effect on the organism.”16 Music begins in the body; it begins with the heartbeat. Perhaps music, through its rhythm, is the universal heartbeat of mankind. After all, it was the beating drums that masters first silenced during slavery. 17 15 The term “translation without a master” is from Rajchmann (1991). Cited in O’Neill, S. (2009). Re-visioning musical understandings through a cultural diversity theory of difference. In Gould, E., Countryman, J., Morton, C., & Stewart , L., (Eds.) Exploring social justice: How music education might matter, (pp. 70-89). Waterloo, ON: Canadian Music Educators’ Association. (Vol. 4 of biennial series, Research to Practice.) 16 Williams’ quote from: McClary, S. (1991). Feminine endings: Music, gender and sexuality. Minneapolis Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, (p. 23). 17 From: Southern, Eileen, (1983). The Music of Black Americans (2nd ed.). New York: W.W. Horton and Company. 63 Ogunshaye (1972) an African scholar and artist, suggests: “In the world of culture we are all builders, all borrowers and lenders” (p. vii). Ogunshaye’s idea supports two basic contentions: first, identity may be revealed by what we produce artistically, and second, we can preserve a portion of our identity through an interchange of artistic production and at the same time promote unity and understanding among peoples (Parrot, 1972).18 In looking at the construct of identity, it is interesting to note the entomology of the word. Identity originates in “sameness”, a concept of identity as being “side by side.”19 The other concept of identity is one of repetition – over and over again. I suggest that it is through these interrelated properties of sameness and repetition that music operates by creating unification that animates our collective identities.20 Music and Social Change In looking at the larger theme of music within social movements we find numerous historical incidents of music operating as a strong component of social change. For example, when the Czech rock band Plastic People of the Universe was first outlawed and arrested because the authorities said their Zappa-influenced music was “morbid” and had a “negative social impact,” Vaclav Havel organized a defense committee; that, in turn, evolved into the Charter 77 organization, which set the stage for Czechoslovakia’s broader democracy movement. As Havel wrote, three years before 18 Parrott, Fred J. (1972). Introduction to African arts. New York: Arco Publishing Company Inc. (Quote by Ayo Ogunshaye appears in Foreword, p. vii.) 19 Oxford English Dictionary (2nd Ed.). (1989). Oxford: Clarendon Press. Vol. VII, 620-21. 20 Identity is a combination of idem, to express notion of sameness, plus Identidem, over and over again. 64 the Communist dictatorship fell, “Hope is not a prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart.”21 The faith based music of the United States Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s is further evidence that music has the capacity to create solidarity against state sanctioned brutality and repeated human rights abuses. However, for all the documentation of the songs and voices such as those of Bernice Regan and Fannie Lou Hamer, there is little theoretical discourse of what it is about music that makes it such a formidable defense. Popular culture provides some insight into music and social change especially as represented in several recent films. One, the remarkable Amandela! (2004) – the story of music’s definitive influence during the apartheid period in South Africa, and two, the Brazilian film, Favela Rising (2005) about the formation of Afro-Reggae groups to provide alternatives to street crime in the inner city slums (favelas) of Rio de Janeiro. These populist projects combine both narrative as documentary and music to illustrate how music can and does influence social change. Music, as an oral tradition, has the ability to perpetuate the flow of culture between generations of peoples in a fluid and transformative manner. Music not only provides an historical continuity, but also, in performance becomes a representation of our collective identities. Given these attributes, music, and by extension culture, can bridge the communication gaps between cultures and ideas. If we first acknowledge that communication involves a sense of vulnerability and hesitation, one can use music as a 21 From: Orientation of the Heart. (2004). In Paul Rogat Loeb (Ed.), The impossible will take a little while – A citizens guide to hope in a time of fear. New York: Basic Books, p.5. 65 means to open the dialogue. The educator and learner, in turn, move from discourse to intercourse – from restriction to restitution – from governance to conference – from ignorance to acceptance. Source of the Nile: June 11, 2004 It is late in the afternoon and I am sitting on a wooden slat at the prow of the twelve-foot long, aging fish boat we have hired to take us to the source of the River Nile. We round the curve of Lake Victoria and navigate through swirling eddies at the source of the river. The Nile is vast, wide and rapid as we are pulled by its current into the sunset. My pristine reverie is broken when I am told that the tangled wire mesh we navigated at the source was placed there to contain the dead from floating down the river! Always, there are reminders of war. Yet, in this same current we also embrace the seeds of hope and renewal. Mpambo began by forming a transnational network/community of like-minded peace educators who believe identity is a collective consciousness and that a better world is possible. To celebrate and reaffirm our collective identities we gathered in the cradle of civilization – at the source of the Nile – where we, in theory and practice, represented, “One People” with Multiple Dreams. Figure 3.2 The participants Conclusion Education is at the heart of any strategy for peace building. UNESCO - Declaration of a Culture of Peace, 2000 My baggage finally arrived on the last day of the conference, completely intact. When I opened my case, I marveled at all that I had packed that I didn’t really need. I decided to use this as a metaphor for western cultural discourse – we need to let go of some of our western baggage and open our minds and hearts to other ways of knowing. Sometimes it is easier to do this when we leave some of this baggage behind as it gives us more room for new encounters. 66 67 This is not to say that I didn’t welcome the return of my baggage as it was comforting to wear familiar clothes that fit. Even if I do not want to replace my core beliefs (such as my feminism, my social activism, my humanist ideologies) with something that does not fit, losing my western baggage challenged me to question how knowledge is constituted, how I have relied on western epistemologies as a foundational philosophical core without really looking at its underlying hegemonic colonial practices. I realize that too much of our cultural discourse is clothed in western ideas, which has disconnected some people from their culture and disconnected cultures from each other. In particular, my western modern preoccupation with the notion of the individual was disrupted by the idea of collective identity which can be a crucial marker in how music is produced as social knowledge. Like the new outfits that I acquired during my travels, I wanted to bring home new knowledge that countered the western based hegemonic practices of music and constructs of identity. Western based poststructuralist and postmodernist critiques of essentialist identity politics now consider identity passé, if not dangerously limited and limiting, (Wright, 2002, p. 811). Just as western cultural theorists are abandoning identity politics, the dominant western hegemonies are becoming more polarized towards “nationals/others” in order to protect their precious nation states. If cultural studies work wants to remain relevant as social justice praxis we must continue to interrogate notions of identity as complex, “multiple, overlapping, continuous and performative” (Wright, 2002, p. 809) which are continually being constructed and deconstructed in everyday life: “The complexity of identity means that rather than being singular or merely replacing one form of identity for another (e.g. ceasing to be Krio and becoming ‘Black’) identity is a 68 series of complimentary and contradictory identifications operating simultaneously, with some coming to the fore or receding depending on context” (Wright, 2002, p. 811). Theories of popular culture, concerned with identity politics and the construct of recognition are problematic, given so little representation of the very people the theorists wish to recognize. However, if we wish to locate human rights agency within cultural studies discourse then identity must be a crucial component of any culturally based theory. Cultural studies still aims to interrogate relationships of power within human endeavors and identity is embedded in these power relationships as both constructed and evolving. I question Spivak’s definition of cultural studies as “founded by the colonized in order to question and correct their masters” (2006, p. 359). I would suggest that cultural studies are still located in the world of the colonizer as the academy continues to promote Western enlightenment-based discourses as represented in their curriculums. Indeed, contemporary poststructural discourse as a theoretical framework provides limitations because contemporary theory has the task of “being too powerful, of having to prove too much” (Appiah, 1992, p. 65). By looking at cultural theory from nonwestern based social justice discourse as articulated by Tomaselli’s construct of dynamic justice, Wright’s performative community based identification of cultural acts, and Rajagopal’s idea of cultural politics, we can begin to see that collective identities play a crucial role in the relationship between cultural studies and social change. Rajagopal’s idea of cultural politics as integral to social movements reaffirms Tomaselli’s and Wright’s call to relocate social justice praxis within cultural studies. These ideals challenge western epistemologies by articulating a 69 counter hegemony that occurs within community based social movements organized on the basis of shared beliefs and collective identities. If we can agree that our collective identity is a fluid and evolving phenomena, then we must look hard at our global acts and global responsibilities. It is not enough to lament the colonization of Africa – we must also acknowledge the ongoing human rights abuses in Africa that are largely ignored and, at the same time, perpetrated by the Western world. It is not enough to deconstruct the heart of Joseph Conrad – one ought to acknowledge a collective responsibility of past and present interventions. This involves actual representation of people in their own development rather than lip service and aid tied to western economic interests. As Karin Barber (1997) in Readings in African Popular Culture articulates, “In many discussions on development, the cultural aspect is left out or else admitted through the backdoor. And yet, if people are the center of development, then the quality of their life should be the most important indicator of development” (p. 131). Going to the core of the problem, Wolfgang Sachs (1992) defines development as “a concept full of emptiness” and points out that “development thus has no content but it does possess a function: it allows any intervention to be sanctioned in the name of a higher evolutionary goal. Watch out!” (p. 6).22 22 From: Wright, H. (2004). Introduction. In A Prescience of African cultural studies. New York: Peter Lang, (pp.137-8). 70 So who is watching out? As educators and cultural workers we have the responsibility to question the exclusion of epistemologies that rest outside the dominant western narrative. “The university itself must not be overlooked as a site of praxis, a site where issues of difference, representation and social justice, and even what constitutes legitimate academic work are being contested” (Wright, 2002, p. 808). As educators we have the opportunity to construct social change within the academy. Surely, it is our obligation: Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial and religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26, 1948 71 References Appiah, K. A. (1992). In my father’s house: Africa in the philosophy of culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Appiah, K. A. (2006). Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a world of strangers. New York: W.W. Norton and Company. Barber, K. (1997). Readings in African popular culture. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Boal, A. (1974). Theatre of the oppressed. (Charles McBride and Maria-Odilia Leal McBride, Trans.). London: Pluto. Boal, A. (2006). The aesthetics of the oppressed. (Adrian Jackson, Trans.). London: Routledge. Boal, A. (1995). The rainbow of desire: The Boal Method of Theatre and Therapy translated by Adrian Jackson. London: Routledge. Dei, G. J. S. (2000). African development: The relevance and implications of indigenousness. In G.J.S. Dei, B.L. Hall, & D.G. Rosenberg (Eds.), Indigenous knowledges in global contexts: Multiple readings of our world (pp. 70-86). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Diani, M. (1992). The concept of social movement. Sociological Review, 40, 1-25. Hall, B. (2000) Preface. In G.J.S. Dei, B.L. Hall, & D.G. Rosenberg (Eds.), Indigenous knowledges in global contexts: Multiple readings of our world (pp. xii-xiv). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Hirsch, L. (director). (2002). Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony. [Motion picture]. USA: Lions Gate Entertainment. Hunt, L. A. Pearl (2004). Mmobomme. (lyrics and music). First performed at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, B.C., April 2004. Freire, P. (1994). Pedagogy of hope. New York: The Continuum Publishing Company. Grossberg, L. (2004). Dancing in spite of myself: Essays on popular culture. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Ignatieff, M. (1984). The needs of strangers. Toronto: Elizabeth Sifton Books. Kenyon, L. (1999/90). Clear Cut Trees, (lyrics and music). On Loyal Dog. [CD]. Vancouver, BC: Scruff Rock Music. Loeb, P. R. (Ed.). (2004). The impossible will take a little while – a citizens guide to hope in a time of fear. New York: Basic Books. McClary, S. (1991). Feminine Endings: Music, gender and sexuality. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Mbiti, J. S. (1969). African religion and philosophy. New York: Frederick A. Preager. 72 Nyamnjoh, F. B. (1999). African cultural studies, cultural studies in Africa: How to make a useful difference. Critical Arts: A South-North Journal of Cultural and Media Studies, 13(1), 15-25. O’Neill, S. (2009). Re-visioning musical understandings through a cultural diversity theory of difference. In Gould, E., Countryman, J., Morton, C., & Stewart, L., (Eds.) Exploring social justice: How music education might matter, (pp. 70-89). Waterloo, ON: Canadian Music Educators’ Association. (Vol. 4 of biennial series, Research to Practice.) Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.). (1989). Oxford: Clarendon Press. Parrott, F. J. (1972). Introduction to African arts. New York: Arco Publishing Company Inc. Rajagopal, B. (2003). International law from below: Development, social movements and third world resistance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Southern, E. (1983). The music of Black Americans (2nd ed.). New York: W.W. Horton and Company. Spivak, G. (2006). Culture alive: Problematizing global knowledge. Theory, Culture and Society, 23(2-3), 359-360. Thiong’o, N. W. (1997). Women in cultural work: The fate of the Kaminiithu People’s Theatre in Kenya (p 131-138). In Barber, Karin, Readings in African popular culture. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Tomaselli, K.G. (1999). Encounters in the Kalahari (theme issue). Visual Anthropology,12 (2-3). Tomaselli, K.G. (2000). Recovering praxis: cultural studies in Africa. European Journal of Cultural Studies,1 (3), 387-402. Tomaselli, K.G. (2001). Blue is hot, red is cold: Doing reverse cultural studies in Africa. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 1 (3), 283-318. Tomaselli, K.G. (2004). Cultural studies is the crisis: Culturalism and dynamic justice. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 4 (2), 257-268. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (2000). Declaration and programme of action on a culture of peace project. #UN/GA/A/Res/53/243. Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/cpp/uk/declarations/2000.htm. United Nations (1948). Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Retrieved from, http://www.unesco.org/education/ecp/publicat/brochure/english/intro.html. Vaclav, H. (1985). The power of the powerless. In John Kean (Ed.) The Power of the powerless: Citizens against the state in Central- Eastern Europe (pp. 23-96). Armonk, NY: Sharpe Inc. Wangoola, P. (2002). Mpambo, the African Multiversity: A Philosophy to rekindle the African spirit. In G.J.S. Dei, B.L. Hall, & D.G. Rosenberg (Eds.) Indigenous knowledges in global contexts: Multiple readings of our world (pp. 265-278). Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press. Williams, R. (1960). Culture and society, 1780-1950. New York: Columbia University Press. [c1958]. 73 Wright, H.K. (1996). Take Birmingham to the curb, here comes African cultural studies: An exercise in revisionist historiography. University of Toronto Quarterly, 65(2), 355- 365. Wright, H.K. (1998). Dare we de-centre Birmingham?: Troubling the ‘origin’ and trajectories of cultural studies. European Journal of Critical Studies, 1(1), 33-56. Wright, H.K. (2002). Notes on the (Im)Possibility of Articulating Continental African Identity. Critical Arts, 16(2), 1-18. Wright, K.K. (2003). Cultural studies as praxis: (Making) an autobiographical case. Cultural Studies, 7(6), 805-822. Wright, H. (2004). A Prescience of African cultural studies. New York: Peter Lang. Zimbalist, J. & Mochary, M. (director and producers) (2005). Favela Rising [Motion picture]. USA: ThinkFilm and HBO. 74 4. WORKING THROUGH DIFFERENCE: MUSIC’S CAPACITY FOR CULTURAL STUDIES PRAXIS1 In shaping a social/historical understanding of culture and positioning music within this discourse as a means of exploring music’s potential for cultural studies praxis, I examine how music can be useful in recognizing and negotiating “the politics of difference”. I will begin by establishing the framework/paradigm for cultural studies from its contested origins, through cultural studies’ intervention with Marxist ideology and the historical “interruptions” of race and gender. In particular, I deal with Black2 music’s multifaceted and contested position through social differences and struggles. It is in the process of analyzing Black music that working through difference realizes a form of cultural studies praxis. In beginning this examination of cultural studies, I want to define how culture will be utilized in our discussion. Raymond Williams, whose work was influential in forming the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies in Birmingham, England, was first to coin the phrase that ‘culture is ordinary’: “I start with a simple observation: Culture is ordinary, in the sense that culture is not a collection of special objects packed away in a museum” (1958b, pp. 5-6). Williams viewed culture as both a form of expression and as what is common to the people of a community as opposed to what divides them. In “Cultural 1 A version of this chapter will be submitted for publication. Hunt, L.A. Pearl. (2010). Working through difference: Music’s capacity for cultural studies praxis. 2 The term “Black” can be somewhat problematic as many Africans and Africans living in diasporas do not self identify as Black. However, a great deal of African American scholarship utilizes “black” as a self identifying group as does the work of British cultural theorists such as Paul Gilroy and Stuart Hall. 75 Studies, an Introduction” (1992)3 the authors (Nelson, Treichler, and Grossberg) further describe Williams’ articulation of culture as “a whole way of life, material, intellectual and spiritual” (1992, p. 4). Contributing to the definition of culture is Willis’ (appropriately working class) description, that culture is “the very material of our daily lives, the bricks and mortar of our most common place understanding” (Willis, 1978, p. 185). More recently Gayatri Spivak (2006) in “Culture Alive” suggests we view culture as a dynamic breathing entity where “different explanations always collide, not just by races and classes, but by genders and generations.” “Culture,” she claims, “is its own explanations” (p. 360).4 Spivak’s definition points to culture’s fluidity, as it travels across time and place always “one step ahead of its definitions and descriptions” (Spivak, 2006, p. 360). Yet, we still need to find some signposts to guide us through our discussion and so, I turn to Richard Johnson’s (1996), “What is cultural studies, anyway?”5 Here Johnson lists three components of culture that I feel are crucial to understanding how culture operates: 1. Cultural processes are intimately connected with social relations: class, gender, race, sexuality and age. 2. Culture involves power and helps produce asymmetries in the abilities of individuals and social groups to define and realize their needs. 3 Nelson, C., Treichler, P., & Grossberg, L. (1992). Cultural studies: An introduction. In Nelson,Treichler & Grossberg (Eds.), Cultural studies. New York: Routledge. 4 Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty (2006). Culture alive: Problematizing global knowledge. Theory, Culture and Society 23(2-3), pp. 359-360. 5 Johnson, R. (1996). What is cultural studies, anyway? in John Storey. (Ed.), What is cultural studies? A reader. London: Arnold. Johnson lists the cultural components on p. 76. 76 3. Culture is neither an autonomous nor an externally determined field but a site of social differences and struggles. Stuart Hall, another influential figure in British cultural studies, notes that you have to treat culture as formative of human life, human agency, and of a historical process. “There is always an openness to culture. This introduces contingency and uncertainty into the historical process” (1977, p. 25).6 This openness and historical uncertainly are evidenced in the origins of cultural studies, which is historically contested by writers such as Wright (1996, 1998), Stam (2006), and Tomaselli (2000). Stam and Wright propose alternate historical accounts by locating numerous sites of origins for cultural studies in such movements as the 1920’s in Russia, the modernist movement in 1920’s Brazil, the Harlem renaissance, the negritude movement of the 1930’s, and the Kamiriithu community theatre project in Kenya. Wright’s basic identification of cultural studies is linked to the criterion of “performative acts” mainly operating beyond the academy, largely situated in communities, and inclusive of both males and females. Tomaselli (2000), expanding on Wright’s 1998 article, recalls the origins of African cultural studies as “forged by ordinary people on the ground who developed strategies for accommodation, resistance, and democratic progress” (p, 392). Given the criterion of community-based performative acts, developed as collective strategies for promoting social justice, one can also point to terrains/places of cultural studies work in both the United States and Canada through the emergence of 6 Hall, S. (1977). Cultural revolution. New Statesman 126, p. 25. 77 collaborative, collective-based, social justice theatres such as Passe Muraille7 in Toronto; Vancouver’s Tamahnous Theater; and the Fluxus inspired work of the Vancouver artist managed gallery, The Western Front. In the United State, emerging in the 1960’s and early 1970’s, was the political work of the San Francisco Mime Troupe and more recently in the 1980’s the feminist activists, Guerrilla Girls and the Cheap Art Movement of Bread and Puppet Theatre. All of these organizations utilized collective creations, improvisation and community-based participants, to promote radical alternatives to the repertoire theatres as “strategies for accommodation, resistance, and democratic progress” (Tomaselli, 2000, p. 392). I am suggesting that perhaps these organizations were also doing the work of cultural studies, just as it is the work of cultural studies to question assumptions, not only of its origins, but also of what exactly is the work of cultural studies. Gary Nelson, Paula Treichler & Lawrence Grossberg (1996) recognize the contested nature of cultural studies whereby it is “constantly writing and rewriting its own history to make sense of itself, constructing and reconstructing itself in response to new challenges, rearticulating itself in new situations, discarding old assumptions and appropriating new positions” (1996, p. 10). Even when given the variety of trajectories of cultural studies origins (as we see here), within the academy, cultural studies is still predominantly identified as originating with the work of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) in Birmingham, England. Birmingham is where the early work 7 When Passe Muraille evolved in 1968, its radical intention was to create a distinctly Canadian voice in theatre. Throughout the 70s, under the direction of Paul Thompson, the company revolutionized Canadian theatre with its signatory approach to collective creation. Following closely in its footsteps was an explosion of Canadian collectively based theatres such as Vancouver based Tahmanous. 78 of Raymond Williams, Paul Willis and Stuart Hall (note they are all men) set the tone for the theoretical and praxis based work which continues to prescribe, for the most part, the foundation of cultural studies origins for the academy. “What is cultural studies, anyway?” 8 Stuart Hall (1990a) has remarked – “cultural studies is not one thing – it has never been one thing” (p.11). Even when cultural studies is identified with a specific national tradition (such as British cultural studies) it remains a “diverse and often contentious enterprise, encompassing different positions and trajectories in specific contexts, addressing many questions, drawing nourishment from multiple roots and shaping itself within different institutions and locations.”9 Like Hall, Richard Johnson sees a tradition of openness and trans/interdisciplinarity to the work of cultural studies – its theoretical versatility, its reflexive nature and especially, the importance of critique, noting that cultural studies is “a kind of alchemy for producing useful knowledge, and its critique involves stealing away the more useful elements of theories and rejecting the rest” (Johnson, 1996, p. 75). Johnson (1996) writes of the project of cultural studies: “Our project is to abstract, describe and reconstitute in concrete studies, forms through which humans being ‘live’, become conscious, sustains themselves subjectively” (p. 81). Also referring to cultural 8 This subtitle is appropriated from Richard Johnson’s 1996 article, What is cultural studies, anyway? In Storey, J. (Ed.), What is cultural studies? A reader. London: Arnold. 9 From: Johnson, R. (1996). What is cultural studies, anyway? In Storey, J. (Ed.), What is cultural studies? A reader. London: Arnold, p. 3. 79 studies as a project, Stuart Hall (1992) sees the work of cultural studies as holding both theoretical and political questions in an ever irresolvable but permanent tension: “It constantly allows one to irritate, bother and disturb the other, without insisting on some final theoretical closure” (p. 284). In fact, Hall suggests that the “only theory worth having is the one you have to fight off, not that which you speak with profound fluency” (1992, p. 280). For all its multiple meanings and manifestations cultural studies does have work to perform. As Hall (1992) notes: “It does matter whether cultural studies is this or that. It can’t just be any old thing that chooses to march under a particular banner” (p. 278). Given how widely divergent cultural studies may be in other respects, the project of cultural studies shares a commitment to examining cultural practices from the point of view of their intersection with and within relations of power which requires an analysis of those relations of power and one’s place within them. Practitioners of cultural studies see cultural studies not simply as a chronicle of cultural change (although there is an historical context from which one writes) but more importantly as an intervention in it, seeing themselves not simply as scholars providing accounts but as politically engaged participants. This joining together of theory and reflective practice as praxis was the basis for the origins of British cultural studies. Angela McRobbie (1999) writing “In Defense of Cultural Studies,” reiterates the praxis based origins of the Birmingham projects: There were always close links between the Birmingham Centre and the wider field of cultural and artistic practice. Some people left to manage bands hoping to 80 find ways of integrating aspects of cultural theory and sexual politics in making music. What is important here is the emphasis upon cultural politics and on the exchange between academics and practitioners. But what has been the norm in cultural studies, to the point that it feels like stating the obvious, is actually a relation between theory and practice, (McRobbie, 1999, p. 104). The academy The ways cultural studies reflects on the academy, academic pedagogy and practice also needs to acknowledge its praxis-based origins. Wright (2003) suggests: “taking education and pedagogy seriously in cultural studies means acknowledging that cultural studies originated as praxis” (p. 818). Praxis based cultural studies then requires commitment, time, energy and an academy which values the practice of political intervention for democratic advances. “Cultural studies praxis provides a way of not only analyzing power but of engaging it for democratic outcomes” (Tomaselli, 2000, p. 394). Wright (2003) expands on the idea of cultural studies praxis from a dynamic perspective by suggesting that it is not so much what cultural studies is, but rather, “what does cultural studies do?”10 Part of the work of praxis based cultural studies then is that it “enables the exploration of identity and the politics of difference to enrich and expand its own discourse” (Wright, 2003, p. 812). 10 Wright acknowledges this idea is from Morris, 1997. 81 Utilizing Wright’s concept of performative acts as an approach to achieving cultural studies praxis, I aim to explore how black music, and by extension my cultural work, intersects and intervenes within the following discourse of difference. In taking up the somewhat alternate discourse of cultural studies which recognizes the importance of multiplicity, project and praxis, I seek to contribute to opening the space which articulates black music as a contested site of difference. By focusing on the intersection of music within and between, race, gender and class, “working through difference” is my method of trying to understand how “black” music operates, to not only negotiate difference but to transcend (move beyond) difference, through a theory that both troubles and crosses disciplinary and cultural borders. Popular culture A basic premise of cultural studies is that all forms of cultural production need to be studied in relation to other cultural practices and to social and historical structures. This, of course, includes the study of “popular culture”. However, to equate cultural studies to purely the study of popular culture (which is often ascribed to the work of cultural studies) does not encompass the actual work of cultural studies which is to “trouble” the tensions between and among forms of popular culture in relation to its historical and social structures. My intention then, keeping to somewhat of an historical framework, is to examine the relationships and tensions of music’s capacity to enact/transcend difference through the tensions/ruptures within cultural studies specific to Marxism, race and gender as these discourses intersect and combine, within and against, cultural 82 practices. But before delving into the musical aspects of this study, it is important to speak to the historical context from which these cultural projects emerged in British cultural studies. Hoggart’s The Use of Literacy: Aspects of Working Class Life (1958) to track connections within working class language(s) and E.P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class (1980) sprang from the New Left Movement in England. To label these projects/studies within a Marxist paradigm is to absolve them of the complex relationship that these projects performed. In particular, Stuart Hall wrestled with his uncertain relationship with Marxism for decades because Marxism, being a Eurocentric ideology, a metanarrative of exclusively economic modes of power/production, did not adequately account for “cultural” forces. Stuart Hall speaks of this historical period: From the beginning there was always already the question of the great inadequacies, theoretically and politically, the resounding silences, the great evasions of Marxism – the things that Marx did not talk about or seem to understand which were our privileged objects of study: the culture, ideology, language, the symbolic…I’m questioning the theory for the model around which it is articulated: its Eurocentrism (Hall, 1992, pp. 278 -280). To fill the gaps which Marxism left unexplained, the centre turned in part to the work of Gramsci and the cultural studies projects began to emphasize articulation, hegemony11 11 The cultural critic Antonio Gramsci (1977, 1978, 1994) used the term to mean the manner in which dominant classes controlled and exploited subordinate groups by “consent”, thereby masking exploitation by convincing the exploited that their condition was natural to them, even good for them; as example the “free market” (Madison, 2003, pp. 53-54). The central feature of Gramsci’s notion of hegemony is that is operates without force. We give consent because we are manipulated into believing that the interest of 83 and the struggle to make meaning in issues of racism and feminism, within and opposed to class ideologies. Paul Gilroy’s early (1987) contribution, ‘There ain’t no Black in the Union Jack’: The cultural politics of race and nation,12 illustrates how one cannot privilege the class argument over the race argument because class and racism work both in opposition and together within an economic paradigm. 13 The primary problem [my italics] for analysis of racial antagonism which occurs within broad frameworks of historical materialism must be the manner in which racial meaning and solidarity and identities provide the basis for action. Different patterns of “racial” activity and political struggle will appear in determinate historical conditions. They are not conceived as a straightforward alternative to class struggle at the level of economic analysis, but must be recognized to be potentially both an alternate to class consciousness at the political level and as a factor in the contingent processes in which classes are themselves formed, (Gilroy, 1987, p. 27). The work of the Birmingham centre began to pull apart essentialist ideas of race, defining race as a “politically and culturally constructed category, which could not be grounded in a set of fixed trans-cultural or transcendental racial categories and which has no guarantees in nature” (Hall, 1996, p. 443).14 The cultural studies work that the power block is really our interest. Through hegemony we are in complicity with our own subordination, (Madison, 2003, pp. 53-54; Wright, 2007, class notes). 12 Gilroy, P. (1987). ‘Race’, class and agency. ‘There ain’t no Black in the Union Jack’: The cultural politics of race and nation. Chicago: University of Chicago. 13 The expression “within and against” proliferates in this work. 14 “An emerging consensus within various fields suggests that although “race” does not exist – since “race” is a pseudo-scientific concept – racism as a set of social practices most definitely does exist. There is no 84 emerged from this period formulated theoretically as identity politics and politics of difference, and CCSC became a site of intense emotional struggle, heated debates and bad feelings. It is here in the (re)construction of identity/difference and authenticity that music began to really insert its resonance into the cultural studies discourse. For example in his 1978 ethnography, Profane Culture, Paul Willis depicts the “everyday” experiences of “bike boys” and “hippies” in 1960’s England. Although these two groups were disparate in terms of class – the bike boys’ parent culture that of the working class and the hippies’ parent culture being middle class – music, the common denominator between groups, opened up “ all kinds of possibilities for a new idiom shared simultaneously across disparate communities” (1987, p. 8). Willis’ ethnography demonstrated that both bike- boys and hippies had divergent tastes in music (in fact their likes and dislikes were quite separate) but more importantly, he demonstrated how popular music was a crucial component/marker of both individual and collective identity formation and brought the study of popular music and, by extension, popular culture to the forefront of class analysis. Another academic discipline that took seriously the capacity of music to inform social/historical contexts was Black studies. Paul Gilroy named the significance of black music the “politics of transfiguration” that points specifically to the “formation of a community of need and solidarity which is magically made audible in the music itself” (Radano, 2003, p. 41). In, The Black Atlantic: modernity and double consciousness, race, then, but only racism. By analogy, there is no “other” but only processes of otherization; no exotics – no one is exotic to themselves – but only exotocization” Robert Stam (2006, 447). 85 Gilroy (1993)15 calls for more musically grounded interpretative practices in cultural studies, a radical notion that brings new determination to the politics of historical analysis. In Lying Up a Nation: a Cultural Studies Critique of Black Music, Ronald Radano, (2003)16 notes: For Gilroy, authenticity emerges not from an essential African-American culture but from the distinctiveness of a musically grounded experience. This emphasis on musical experience underlies a related desire to challenge the textual dominance of cultural studies in order to bring a new sonic reference point to the interpretation of black diasporic culture, (pp. 39-40). Theorizing Music and Identity While attempting to theorize about black music and identities in dynamic flux, we are going to experience, as Stuart Hall claims, a theory that will “irritate, bother and disturb.” As cultural studies matures in the twenty-first century, our notions of identity are, as Wright (2003) suggests, “not given, fixed notions nor sources of authenticity but rather constructed, procedural, multiple, overlapping, contradictory and performative” (p. 809). Somehow, when we add music to the equation of identity formation we perceive music as fixed and static, rather than as overlapping, multiple, dynamic. In developing a theory of music then, we must realize that music operates within the same social structures as identity in that it is hybrid in its nature. “We have to start with an assumption of musical 15 Gilroy, Paul (1993). The Black Atlantic: modernity and double consciousness. New York: Verso. 16 Radano, Ronald Michael (2003). Lying up a nation: Race and black music. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 86 hybridity, with global cultural crossover and profound interpretations of style” (McRobbie, 1999, p. 133). Anne Gray suggests that experiences can be understood as “discursive sites of articulation upon and through which subjectivities and identities are shaped” (Wright, 2003, p. 809). Because music is also experienced, it too remains a site of articulation. The articulation of Black music as the defining expression of race has been shaped and reshaped within a peculiar “interracial conversation whose participants simultaneously deny that the conversation has ever taken place. As it affirms the separation of Black and white, it also calls that distinction into question” (Rodano, 2003, p. xiv). To explain Black music from an essentialist position is to perpetrate versions of the colour line. “It is to propose difference not as invention but as prescriptive and an inalterable way of life,” (Rodano, 2003, p. 44). For Radano the vast body of research on “Black music” becomes an attempt to document terrains of difference without ever questioning the assumptions on which this difference is based. In Stuart Hall’s (1996) “What is this ‘Black’ in Black Popular Culture?” 17he also cautions against the installation of a singular notion of Black popular culture. “By definition, black popular culture is a contradictory space. It is a site of strategic contestation,” (p. 470). Hall notes: In black popular culture, strictly speaking, ethnographically speaking, there are no pure forms at all. Always these forms are the product of partial 17 In David Morley and Kuan-Hsing Chen (eds.) (1996). Stuart Hall: Critical dialogues in cultural studies. New York: Routledge 87 synchronization, of engagements across cultural boundaries, of the confluence of more than one cultural tradition, of the negotiations of dominant and subordinate positions, of the subterranean strategies of recoding and transcoding, of critical signification, of signifying. Always these forms are impure, to some degree hybridized from the vernacular based, (p. 471). Appropriation and beyond Tricia Rose (1994) affirms, “Not unlike racial segregation, black cultural practices and popular culture are treated as if they are mutually exclusive categories of analysis” (p. 84). While acknowledging the importance of including black music into the study of popular cultural, to claim an essential “black music” seems to contribute to separation and segregation ideologies. On the other hand, one cannot trouble the category of black music without fear of erasure – of silencing the black voice and perpetrating the marginalization of African American national and academic discourse regarding the legitimacy of black music and thought. “The black experience may no longer be invisible,” Cornel West writes, “but it remains unheard – not allowed to speak for itself, to be taken seriously as having something valuable to say” (1988, p. 22-23).18 It is important to reflect critically about black music and resist the problematic of essentialism without negating black music of its social historical radicalism, for fear of 18 From: Rodano p. 32. 88 appropriating the music – or what black, feminist scholar, bell hooks terms “eating the other”.19 It is just as important to realize that not all black music is African American and to ascribe it solely to this nation does not acknowledge the enormous geographic crossover of music and cultures. Canadian scholar, Rinaldo Walcott is critical of Black Studies to this degree. In Black like who? Walcott (2003) points to the contested terrain of “hip hop” as an example that attests to the possibilities and the limits of diasporic theorizing and demonstrates how various institutions are understood to control the ideas of blackness both locally and beyond (p. 114). The insistence on reading rap and hip-hop only within nation-state parameters and an American context has impeded and limited what kinds of discussions and what kinds of histories of hip-hop are possible. This has consequences for the kinds of relations that are created and imagined by those of us involved in the production of knowledge in the university. Shifts from black studies to black cultural studies might be constituted through long and enduring dis-satisfactions with black studies (Walcott, 2003, p. 41). Another concern with prescribing African American musical contributions as “black music” is that, for the most part, black music is conceptualized as male. Barbara 19 hooks, bell (2006). Eating the other: Desire and resistance. In Durham & Kellner (Eds.), Media and cultural studies: Keyworks. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. 89 Omolade (1990)20 in “The Silence and the Song: Toward a Black Women’s History through a Language of Her Own” remarks that “despite the range and significance of our history, we have been perceived as token women in Black texts and as token Blacks in feminist ones” (p. 283). Yet, the recording industry made huge profits from African American women’s very significant contribution to the social /historical narrative of the music, particularly during the 1920s and 1930s. As Daphne Harrison (1988) points out in Black Pearls, many of the performers who came to be celebrated as the “blues queens” were displaced young women who found they could scratch together a living performing in travelling minstrel shows, vaudeville, urban clubs and most notably, the new medium of recording. These so called “race records” produced an “explosion of female creativity that animated the 1920’s – one of the few such movements in Western Music history,” (McClary, 2003, p. 482).21 Here, women were able to articulate from their point of view their personal desires and pleasures: “Ma Rainy, Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters had a new provenance. They sang about the ills at the heart of women’s lives: their dependence on luck, their dependence on men and their efforts to cope with betrayal and desertion” (Feinstein 1985, p. 17).22 For the most part, the unique individual and collective musical contributions of African American women were consumed by the predominantly male music business and artists were paid little for their recordings. 20 From: Omolade, B. (1990) The silence and the song: Towards a black woman’s history through a language of her own. In Braxton, M. & Mclaughlin, A. (Eds.) Wild women in the whirlwind. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. 21 From: McClary, Susan (2003). Bessie Smith: 'Thinking Blues'. In Bull, M. & Back, L. (Eds.), The auditory culture reader (pp. 427-434). Oxford, UK: Berg. 22 From: Feinstein, E. (1985).Bessie Smith: Empress of the blues. New York: Viking Press. 90 The travelling studios recorded as much material as possible, gave each singer a few dollars, and that was that. Did the records sell well or not? The artists didn’t know anything about it and could never have profited from it. Only the stars were called up North to record regularly; but then again, they were paid by the piece, not by the sales. 23 Attali (1985) points out that the American music market was produced through the “colonization of Black music” by the American industrial apparatus and that the African American “festive performances became neuter commodities, cultural spectacles for solvent consumers” (p. 103). The term appropriation does not adequately render music’s capacity to manifest as cultural exploitation, just as the terms integration or assimilation do not articulate music’s transformative and hybrid potential. What we need to find is a theory that somehow encompasses what actually happens during the practice of music making as it informs and forms our identities across racial, gender and generational barriers within an ever expanding global context. Berger and Negro (2004) suggest that, in the construction of identity, the “world is doubled, and doubled and doubled again” (pp. 124-25). By doubled they mean that when people assimilate aspects of other’s identity they must also give out from themselves “particles of their own code substance” in return; giving back what is taken, the interaction “reproduced in the other something of the nature of the person in whom 23 From: Interview with Denis Constant, Jazz Magazine (Paris) 203 February (1973). Quoted by Attali, 1985, p. 104. 91 they have originated”(Marriott, 1976, p. 111).24 Music appears to operate in the same way – doubled and doubled again as social, historical and personal reproduction. Radino suggests that “black music’s power reveals a ‘beyondness’ harkening back to prior unities of music and languages and of the races – a kind of immortality” (2003, p. 21). Perhaps, in this idea of beyondness, or what Giroux (1992) and Lashua (2006) refer to as border crossings, we can grasp how music begins to negotiate and transcend difference. Border Crossings Henry Giroux (1992) in Border Crossings: Cultural Workers and the Politics of Education articulates how a new theorizing of cultural work can be achieved through the construct of border crossing: “The concepts of democracy, border, borderlands and difference must be rewritten so that diverse identities and cultures can intersect as sites of creative cultural production” (p. 248). Walcott (2003) found that approaches to blackness are somehow related across time and space, one that demonstrates the articulation of a border crossing sensibility (p. 127). Rap artists, he states: “might reconfigure, remap and chart a notion of nation as a new land not concerned with narratives of geographic and textual boundaries but a nation that is constituted through the practices of justice, ethical politics and progressive race relations” (Walcott, 2003, p. 129). The radical terrain of hip hop serves as an example that attests to the possibility of theorizing across both theoretical and cultural borders. The emergence of hip hop and 24 From: Berger and Negro (eds.) (2004). Identity reconsidered, the world doubled. In identity and everyday life: Essays in the study of folklore, music, and popular culture. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press (p. 127). 92 rap music, which initially challenged white, male, capitalist hegemony, supplied a crucial marker of authenticity and style for a broad interracial cross section of American youth culture and then spread through Europe and Eurasia. In Canada, Lashau (2006) describes how Aboriginal youth in urban Edmonton, Alberta, utilized hip hop and rap music to negotiate and contest differing identities in differing urban spaces that also act as “bordercrossers”.25 The concept of crossing borders and cultures to further a sense of community (communal identity) is also articulated by bell hooks (1990): Many groups now share with black folk a sense of deep alienation, despair, uncertainly; loss of a sense of grounding even if it is not informed by shared circumstances. Radical postmodernism calls attention to those sensibilities which cross boundaries of class, race and gender...that could be fertile ground for the construction of empathy – ties that promote recognition of common commitments and serve as a base for solidarity and coalition, (p. 27). Although Giroux agrees in the value of postmodernism as a shifting signifier that both reflects and contributes to the unstable cultural and structural relationships that increasing characterizes the advanced industrial countries of the west, he does not think that postmodernism is capable of analyzing difference. “Postmodernism does not offer a formative narrative capable of analyzing difference” (1992, p. 81). Instead he believes that the politics of difference is a form of radical social theory working within rather than against unity [my italics] (1992, p. 81). Giroux’s remarks are not a call to dismiss the 25 Lashua, Brett (2006). ‘Just another native?’ Soundscapes, chorasters, and borderlands in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Cultural StudiesÙ Critical Methodologies 6, 391-410. 93 postmodern emphasis on difference as much as an attempt to develop a radical democratic politics that stresses difference within unity. Folk music in general and, more specifically, rap music, speaks to music’s capacity to negotiate difference within unity as quite often music which unites people is an expression of their collective struggle or their feelings of alienation. Tricia Rose (1994) articulates this struggle in Black Noise: Rap’s poetic voice is deeply political in content and spirit, but rap’s hidden struggle, the struggle over access to public space, community resources, and the interpretation of Black expression constitutes rap’s hidden politics; hegemonic discourses have rendered these institutional aspects of black cultural politics invisible (p. 145). In rap music we can hear how music informs the struggle against racism, alienation and state sanctioned violence through the act of solidarity in what rappers call “representing”. Walcott (2003) concurs that “black popular culture is a site for probing a range of black ethnicities, but it can also be a site for probing modes of femininity and masculinity, sexual politics, class relations and a host of other social, cultural and political positions” (p. 141) and it is to the site of gendered issues that I now turn. 94 Politics of difference: gender issues in cultural studies In approaching the contested terrains of gender, race and class, I am going to return to the Centre for Contemporary Studies in Culture, CCSC, to foreground the historical “feminist interruption”, as Stuart Hall calls it, into the project of cultural studies: Again and again the so called unfolding of cultural studies was interrupted by a break, by real ruptures, by exterior forces; the interruptions were, of new ideas, which decentered what looked like the accumulating practice of the work. There’s another metaphor for theoretical work: theoretical work as interruption” (Hall, 1992, p. 282). Out of the feminist interruption at CCSC emerged the Women’s Study Group who collaboratively developed Women take Issue; aspects of women’s subordination (1978) the origins of British feminist intellectual cultural studies work. Women Take Issue argues that the politics of the personal is central in understanding women’s subordination but that remaining within the politics of the personal experience will not fundamentally transform this subordination. The collection of papers in this volume called into question issues of media representation, sexuality, and reproductive rights of working class women/girls such as McRobbie’s (1978) ethnography, “Working class girls and the culture of femininity.” Although the collection made substantial contributions to aspects of female subordination, feminist scholarship and critical theory within the discourse of cultural studies, the collection ignored any significant discussion of how race was positioned or contested within this feminist discourse. 95 In the 1990’s white critical theorists and feminists responded to the call by black scholars for an analysis of the impact of racism not only on its victims but also on its perpetrators, which emerged as “whiteness studies.” This discourse questioned the quiet yet overpowering normativity of “whiteness” – the process by which race was attributed to others while whites were tacitly positioned as an unmarked norm, leaving whiteness as an uninterrogated space. This movement was intended to signal the end of “white innocence” along with the western practice of labeling the Third World as “others” while at the same time casting whites as somehow raceless. Robert Stam notes that even if whiteness studies denaturalizes whiteness as an unmarked norm by calling attention to taken for granted privileges that go with whiteness (distribution of wealth, prestige, opportunity) at the same time whiteness studies, “runs the risk of once again recentering white narcissism; of changing the subject back to the centre” (Stam, 2006, pp. 485-486). Unfortunately, this notion of white as prescriptive norm is still evidenced in the feminist movement with many African American female activists preferring the term “womanist” to feminist because of the white bourgeois sigma associated with feminism. For example, black feminist politics of difference has materialized through female rappers who forged their own politics: For these rapper women and many other black women, feminism is the label for members of a white women’s social movement that has no link to black women or the black community. Feminism signifies allegiances to historically specific movements whose histories have long been the source of frustration for women 96 of color. Race and gender are inextricably linked for black women, the realities of racism link black women to black men in a way that challenges cross racial sisterhood. Sisterhood among and between black and white women will not be achieved at the expense of black women’s racial identity (Rose, 1994, p. 177). But, even as we examine the notions of “black female” identities we find fissures within what is presumably an emancipated framework. For example, Caroline Knowles and Sharmila Mercer (1992) in “Feminism and Antiracism,”26 noticed that African American and black British women needed to recognize that African women did not share the same notion of oppression. As example, the authors discussed the collective needs of a Nigerian feminist group, “Women in Nigeria”, as something quite divorced from the black North American/Western experiences: They did not see the family as oppressive to women. Their concerns focused on the need for land reforms, rural development and the need to examine relations between women (co-wives) in polygamous marriages. Interestingly, they also made no attempt to differentiate their position or interests from the minority of white American and European women who also operated in this group, because they were setting the political agendas on behalf of all the group (1992, p. 111). In gender discourse, as it intersects and collides with the politics of difference, we can see that the very sites where ruling ideologies can be articulated are also the places where they can be disarticulated. Yet, music continues to be a dynamic site whereby 26 From: Knowles and Mercer (1992). Feminism and antiracism. In Donald, J. & Rattausi, A. (Eds.), Race, culture and difference (pp.104-125). London: Sage. 97 agency can be negotiated even given the complexities and contradictions within our own identities. Like Stuart Hall, I agree that popular culture is the ground on which transformations are worked. “Popular culture is neither, in a ‘pure’ sense, the popular traditions of resistance to these processes; nor is it the forms which are superimposed on and over them. It is the ground on which the transformations are worked.”27 Giroux (1992) suggests that the “struggle against racism, class structures, sexism, and other forms of oppression needs to move away from simply a language of critique and redefine itself as part of a language of transformation and hope” (p. 82). I am suggesting that music has and continues to be a “language of hope and transformation.” This is partly because music performs a dialogue between and among cultural participants. As George Lipsitz (1989) notes: popular music is nothing if not dialogic, the product of an ongoing historical conversation in which no one has the first or the last word (my italics) (p. 99). Tricia Rose explains how Lipsitz’s use of the dialogic is especially productive in the context of Black female rappers. Negotiating multiple social boundaries and identities, black women rappers are in dialogue with one another, with male rappers, with other popular musicians, with Black women fans, and with hip hop fans in general. In addition, dialogism allows us to ground apparent inconsistencies and contradictions in rap’s sexual politics within the complexity and contradictions of everyday life and protest, and it also 27 From: Lipsitz, (1989). Against the wind: Dialogic aspects of rock and roll. In Time passages: Collective memory and American popular culture (pp. 99 – 132). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Stuart Hall’s quote appears on p. 108. 98 allows us to make sense of contradictory modes of resistance in women rappers work (Rose, 1994, p. 149). Lipsitz (1989) notes that it is one thing to assume an unproblematic relationship between musical expression and social experience, and quite another to see music as social, as a part of collective historical memory and continuing social dialogue (p. 107) such as the one Rose puts forward within the practices of female hip hop artists. The practice of music, as it weaves historically through the articulations of class, race and gender, is socially constructed as transformative and hybrid. That identity is expressed through and informed by music is evidenced as both a formative yet almost opaque narrative – as music evokes and articulates differing aspects of culture but remains within the shadows of theoretical discourse. Theories of identity continue to rely on essentialist ideas of music as static. Working through difference then exposes the remnants of this music ideology that continues to separate the self-other and instead offers the suggestion of assimilation and integration, the sort of “beyondness” of which Radano speaks. Appiah (1992) suggests: “the binaries of self and other are the last of the shibboleths of the modernizers that we must learn to live without” (p. 155). Perhaps, we need to recognize within music’s discourse, as Stuart Hall (1996) reminds us, that the other is no longer so other. Indeed, music may be the means to accomplish social justice praxis whereby we do not deny difference but rather music can be heard to negotiate and eventually transcend difference. 99 Getting back to Wrights’ (2003) basis premise of “what does cultural studies actually do?”, we can see that it does not provide easy, concise answers to questions, instead it opens culture up to more questions – more tensions as it continues on, continuing on. By theorizing music capacity to negotiate difference within a cultural studies context we can see the possibilities of both historical and socially produced opportunities for transformation. Increasing our understanding of how race, class and gender are politically interwoven can challenge dominant hegemonic practices that limit the possibilities for inclusive social justice. The clearer we understand how identities and differences operate as fluid, hybrid and historical, the closer we come to attaining the idea of praxis as theory put into action. Is my working through difference then, writing/creating anything new – as Hall declares one ought to? Perhaps, not. But I am pointing to ways in which the work/writing of cultural studies needs to look closely at how music continues to produce and transcend difference as a way of articulating and recovering the idea of cultural studies as a praxis based project. 100 References Appiah, K. A. (1990). Racisms. 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Dare we de-centre Birmingham?: Troubling the ‘origin’ and trajectories of cultural studies. European Journal of Critical Studies, 1(1), 33-56. Wright, H. K. (2003). Cultural Studies as Praxis: (making) an autobiographical case. Cultural Studies, 7(6), 805-822. 103 5. STRIKING A CHORD FOR WOMEN: THE FEMINIST INTERSECTION AT THE CROSSROADS OF MUSIC, RACE AND CULTURE1 Introduction2 This chapter, based on a musical presentation which I gave in Memphis Tennessee in 2007, draws on my initial ideas, combining music performance with feminist, race, and cultural constructs. By interrogating the feminist terrain as I navigate the crossroads of music, race and culture, I articulate feminism’s historical (missed) representations and defiant intersections at these crossroads. In particular, I focus on African American women’s (Memphis Minnie, Fanny Lou Hamer, Septima Clark and Bernice Reagon) contribution to both the music and struggle for civil and human rights. The following chapter is structured to resemble a “set list”3 to integrate the dynamic impact of both music and pedagogy (theory and practice) that these women had in their quest to inform the problems of recognition in the often violent struggle for a just society. By situating the roles of these women within this crossroads discourse, I am attempting to formulate a potential polemic for future collaborative feminist visions. 1 A version of this chapter has been submitted for publication. Hunt, L.A. Pearl (2010). Striking a chord for women: A polemic. 2 This chapter was originally presented as a performance based musical session at a 2007 conference, Memphis: Crossroads of Music, Race and Culture. Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs Annual Conference, Memphis, Tenn. 3A set list, or setlist, is a document that lists the songs that a band or musical artist intends to play during a specific performance. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Set_list 104 At the Crossroads of Music, Race and Culture It may seem that I am just packing more on to what is already a vast undertaking by adding “feminism” to the constructs of music, race and culture, so I want to begin by briefly defining how I will be using these terms/constructs. Culture then, I mean to represent, as Raymond Williams (1976, p. 90)4 suggests, “a particular way of life, whether of a people, or a group.” This definition can encompass both high art and popular culture. Like Williams, I believe culture is “ordinary” and part of the clutter of everyday life and, just as people have culture, so, too, do they have histories. Noted cultural studies theorist, Stuart Hall (1996) suggests that culture and history are not separate entities. “What is ‘out there’ is in part constructed by how it is represented.” Culture is a terrain on which takes place a continual struggle over meaning, in which subordinate groups attempt to resist the imposition of meanings which bare the interest of dominant groups. It is this which makes culture ideological (Hall, 1996, p. 3).5 Although I agree with Hall that culture is essentially ideological, this is not to suggest that I am imposing the following polemic on those scholars and artists who do not see culture as a site for political mobilization – but rather explains my position as a cultural worker – a musician, writer, educator and feminist. 4 From: Storey, J. (1996). Cultural Studies: An introduction. In Storey, J. (Ed.) What is Cultural Studies? a Reader. London: Arnold (p. 1). 5 From: Storey, 1996, p. 3. 105 Music, as a component of culture, can be viewed as the ordinary everyday practice of people and it is important to acknowledge at the onset of this discussion the importance of music within the daily lives of the African- American culture. Angela Davis (1990) in Black Women and Music: a historical legacy of struggle, details this influence: If it is true that music in general reflects social consciousness and that African American music is an especially formative element of Black people’s consciousness in America, the roots of the music in our concrete historical conditions must be acknowledged. For Black women in particular, music has simultaneously expressed and shaped our collective consciousness (p. 3).6 Tricia Rose (1994) in Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America, also notes that music has long permeated the daily life of most African- Americans and has played a central role in their socialization process. During moments characterized by intense movements of social change, music has helped to shape the necessary political consciousness. “Any attempt, therefore, to understand in depth the evolution of women’s consciousness within the Black community requires a serious examination of the music which has influenced them, particularly that which they themselves created” (p. 153). Like culture, the examination of music seems to need a plurality of disciplines to articulate its meaning. The academy, however, has tended to privilege the study of music within narrowly defined disciplines such as musicology and ethnomusicology that 6 Davis, Angela (1990). Black women and music: A historical legacy of struggle. In Braxton, M. & McLaughlin, A. (Eds.) Wild women in the whirlwind, (pp.3-21).New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. 106 catalogue music while ignoring the meaning of music within specific socio-cultural contexts. Although cultural studies privileges the study of music meaning within specific socio-cultural contexts, it tends to ignore ways in which music actually contributes to its general meaning. “The theorist becomes, in essence, unable to recognize how music is made to mean” (Burns & Lafrance, 2002, p. 29). Susan McClary (1991) a noted musicologist, in Feminine Endings: Music, Gender and Sexuality, identifies that something terribly important about music and meaning is being hidden away in her discipline: “musicology fastidiously declares issues of musical signification to be off limits to those engaged in legitimate scholarship… and has prohibited the asking of even the most fundamental questions concerning meaning (p. 40). By bridging both the meaning and affects of sound and text as it performs throughout our culture(s), music, in part, creates an historical narrative of social justice (Hunt, 2002).7 But it is music’s ability to serve as a site of integration that leads us to the crossroads of culture, music and race and it is to the empirically false construct of race that I now turn. In Robert Bernasconi's (2001) "Who invented the concept of Race", he notes that Kant’s (1788) discourse, on the use of teleological principles in philosophy,8 “was the first to distinguish precisely races and varieties" 9 The introduction of Kant's concept lent an air of apparent legitimacy to the broad divisions of people on the basis of colour, nationality and other inherited characteristics that could not be overcome subsequently, 7 My M.A. Thesis, Songs for the Unsung (2002) details how music is a representative narrative of social justice throughout the twentieth century. Burnaby, BC: Simon Fraser University. 8 Kant, I. (1788/2001). On the use of teleological principles in philosophy. In Bernasconi, R. (Ed.), Race. Oxford: Blackwell. 9 From: J.F. Blumenback (1779, p. 23.) Blumenbach also praised the precision of the distinction by which Kant authorized the concept of race and other related terms in his conversation with Gruber. 107 as religious differences could become by conversion (Popkin 1980, pp. 79-80)10. The social significance of Kant's "legitimacy" provided further justification for the transatlantic slave trade. More recently, in response to Kant’s principles, Appiah (1990) in “Racisms” rationally argues that race is neither biologically essential nor racism a morally true construct.11 However, I tend to also support Memmi (1982) who suggests that “being rational is not the issue – a different sort of logic is at work – the logic of fear and obsession” (p. 99). Currently, in North American, our cultural obsession with “terrorism” is giving a specific face to racism in the form of ethnic profiling. Some Black12 scholars take the view that emphasizing ethnicity is simply another way of not dealing with the central issues of racism (Essed, 1991, p. 40). I tend to agree with Ng (1995) that race and ethnicity can be taken together because of their socially constructed character: Gender, race/ethnicity and class are not fixed entities. They are socially constructed in and through the productive and reproductive relations in which we all participate. Thus what constitutes sexism, racism as well as class oppression, changes over time as productive relations change” (p. 195). The hegemonic social constructions of gender, race and class indeed are always already intertwined as bell hooks (1989) in Talking Back has long reiterated: “We must 10 Popkin, Richard (1980). The philosophical bases for modern racism. The high road to pyrrhonism (pp. 79-102). San Diego: Austin Hill Press. 11 From: Appiah, K.A. (1990). Racisms. In Goldberg, D. (Ed.). Anatomy of racism (pp. 1-17). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 12 I am using the words Black/black to represent African Americans who I met during my cultural exchanges, working relationships, and field work in the United States, as this was the word with which they self identified. This is in no way meant to be disrespectful of anyone who does not self identify as Black only that it was preferred by the people I have known. Just as I self identify as white vs. Caucasian, Scottish American/Canadian…etc. 108 understand that patriarchal domination shares an ideological foundation with racist and other forms of group oppression, that there is no hope that it can be eradicated while these systems remain intact” (p. 22). The Feminist Intersection We are now approaching the contested territory of gender – contested largely because of its presumed binary (male/female) nature. Therefore, to begin I want to offer an inclusive definition of “feminist” as an ideology that can provide solidarity among female, male and transgender of any class, race or sexual orientation. For it is the role feminists play at these crossroads of music, race and culture that I want to speak to and, in particular, articulate how women use these sites for resistance. I am drawing primarily (though not exclusively) on the experience of Black women’s resistance at numerous locations and times – from Beale Street, Memphis in the 1930’s to the church halls in Montgomery, Alabama in the 1960’s. But, by no means do I disparage the work of each woman as an individual agent. In fact, whole tomes have been written (see Clark, 1990; Mills, 1993; Reagon, 1993) on their contributions. I am citing these women as sources for a specific reason – that is, they all refused to be “turned around.” 13 13 “Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me round” is the first line of a popular song sung during the Civil Rights Movement of 1950’s, 1960’. In particular, is Stax recording of Mavis Staple’s singing a version of this song. 109 “Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me round” Ain't gonna let nobody Turn me around! Turn me around! Turn me around! Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around I'm gonna keep on a - walkin', keep on a - talkin' Marchin' up to freedom's land! – Traditional spiritual song 14 In discussing these women, I draw attention not only to the passion they brought to their sites of struggle, but also address how they personally had to confront resistance to their intuitive risk taking (approach/methodologies). For example, during the civil rights movement of the 1950’s Septima Clark recalls how her idea of Citizenship Schools was initially poorly received by Myles Horton, the director of Highlander Folk School, Tennessee, where Septima served as their education coordinator: So Myles and I had to just shout it out. That’s what we did – shouted at each other. People thought I had new-fangled ideas. Myles thought I had new-fangled ideas. But my new-fangled ideas worked out. I didn’t know they were going to work out. I just thought that you couldn’t get people to register to vote until you teach them to read and write. That’s what I thought and I was right (Clark, 1990, p. 53). 14 From: Seeger, Pete and Reiser, Bob. (1989). Everybody says freedom; including many songs collected by Guy and Candie Carawan. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. (pp.74-75). 110 The idea of using music as a tool for teaching literacy was incorporated in to the Citizenship Schools. This concept worked because people knew the words to the songs; local songs familiar to the community, such as folk songs and ballads, were changed to suit the people’s needs (Hunt 2002, p. 19). By 1963 there were over 1000 schools teaching several hundred thousand adults how to read and write, using music as a literacy tool, (Robnett, 1997). That Septima’s passion for her “new fangled” ideas was crucial to their implementation reiterates Gramsci’s idea of how knowledge is constructed. “The intellectual’s error consists in believing that it is possible to know without understanding and especially without feeling or passion.” Gramsci instead believes that “feeling and passion become understanding and thence knowledge,” (quoted from Simon, 1991, 98-99).15 The same notion of passion/intuition can be applied to the music of Memphis Minnie, one of the first musicians, to introduce the electric guitar to North American audiences. Langston Hughes recalls first hearing the electric guitar played by Memphis Minnie at a New Year’s gig in New York, 1942. He writes of this sound as that of “electric welders plus a rolling mill.”16 Minnie’s move to electronic sound and her playing style became a major influence to both men and women as the twentieth century unfolded17 and Minnie is regarded as a pioneer of the “electric blues”. The blues is a form of music shaped initially (early twentieth century) by African American experiences throughout slavery and reconstruction with both sharing and 15 From: Burns & Lefrance (2002). Disruptive Divas. New York: Routledge (p. xviii). 16 From: Hughes, Langston (1942/1947). Here to Yonder. PL Jazzbook. 17 I cite guitarists Bonnie Jefferson, Etta Baker, and Bonnie Raitt. 111 communicating need as its central feature. The political process of developing an awareness of the collective nature of the experience of need was very much related to the ability of the African American people to survive when all odds were against them and was reflected in their “blues”. Black feminist and cultural critic, Angela Davis, (1990) articulates the meaning making of the blues and how this music genre forged utopian ideals: Control over the blues is an implicit expression of the real need to transform the objective conditions that are at the root of the blues: a camouflaged dream of a new social order. This is the powerful utopian function of the blues (p. 14). Through the cultural work of both Memphis Minnie and Septima Clark we can see how the meaning of music differs widely. From a literacy tool of the civil rights movement to the innovation of sound technologies, both women expanded the boundaries of music’s capacity to inform and articulate social justice. By interrogating the meaning of music we can also interrogate the role of women as historically specific agents of music’s everyday and populist work. Both Septima’s and Minnie’s differing convictions opened the space for younger women like Bernice Johnson Reagon and Mavis Staples to push the margins of their struggles in music and mobilization further. Reagon’s own contribution includes the phenomenal creation of Sweet Honey in the Rock ((SHIR) – an a cappella inspired black feminist musical group that toured largely during the 1980’s. Bernice, by advocating for the inclusion of black feminists in the music scene, “…took risks in being identified with a cultural movement dominated by white lesbians” (Hayes &Williams, 2007, p. 166). In response, members of SHIR founded Sisterfire, calling for 112 integration of all people and one of the few women’s music festivals open to men: “The idea was born out of bold hopes and a special mix of naiveté and chutzpah. We were conscious of the lack of role models and a fundamental lack of skills building multiracial institutions. We were propelled by our sense of purpose (Horowitz, 2007, p. 166).18 Even though Sisterfire’s encounters with resistance from both within and outside agitation eventually brought about its demise, through their music, SHIR broke racial/ gender barriers and stands as a precursor of events to come. The current massive televised global music concerts, concerned with issues of world hunger and environmental degradation are a testament to the integrative powers of music and how music reflects and, in some cases, produces social change. Benita Roth (2004) in Separate Roads to Feminism notes that black feminists constructed an ideology of liberation from racial, sexual and class oppression which Roth calls the “vanguard center” approach to politics. Since black women were at the intersection of oppressive structures they reasoned that their liberation would mean the liberation of all people. “This legacy of intersectional feminist theory – of analyzing and organizing against interlocking oppressions – would come to have a profound impact on feminist theory as a whole,” (Roth, 2004, p. 77).19 18 Quoted from: Bernice Reagon “We Who Believe in Freedom,” in Hayes & Williams (Eds.), (2007) Black Women and Music (p.166). 19 From: “The Vanguard Center” in Roth, Benita. (2004) Separate roads to feminism: Black, Chicana, and White feminist movements in America's second wave (pp. 76- 128). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 113 “We shall not be moved” We shall, we shall not be moved We shall, we shall not be moved Like a tree that’s planted in the water We shall not be moved – Traditional folk song20 Preparing the music presentation for Memphis gave me the opportunity to revisit some of the material that I first uncovered in 2000 during my residency as a visiting scholar at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.21 My residency included field work at Highlander Research and Education Centre, New Market, Tennessee where I had the opportunity to visit Candie and Guy Carawan in their home next door to the center. The Carawans were the musical directors of Highlander throughout the civil rights era and their input, which gave me a sense of a “real” place and time, was invaluable. For example, about Appalachian women, Candie recalls: “At first, the women, and many of them were excellent musicians, would come and just let the men take over. You know how they would form a little circle on their own and not include anyone not playing. But we opened up the circle and the women were included – for the first time in their lives – and many of them were beautiful singers” (Carawan, 2000, p. 20). 22 20 In Tillett, Beverly (Ed.) (1975). Jerry Silverman’s Folk Song Encyclopedia (Vol. 1, 400). New York: Chappell Music Co. 21 In particular, I am encouraged by the current proliferation of Black feminist critique of both music and the civil rights movement such as Roth (2004), Hayes & Williams (2007). 22 From: Interview with Candie & Guy Carawan. In Hunt, L. A. Pearl (2002) The Highlander Way. Unpublished master’s thesis, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. 114 My discussion with Candie turned to the lack of sources in black feminist critique of the Civil Rights Movement. For example, in her 1990 biography Septima Clark, Highlander’s director of education programs during the civil rights era, states: Until recently black women have been ignored in history books. In stories about the civil rights movement you hear mostly about black ministers. But if you talk to the women who were there, you’ll hear another story. I think the civil rights movement would never have taken off if some women hadn’t started to speak up. A lot more are just getting to the place now where they can speak out (p. 8).23 Before leaving the Carawans, Candie guided me towards an excellent source of black feminist critique. Belinda Robnett’s (1997) How Long, How Long? African American Women in the Struggle for Civil Rights – a ground breaking source, led me to Kay Mill’s (1993) account of Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer. Nothing I could write about Fannie Lou Hamer can better express her relentless resistance to white supremist violence than to use her own words. I quote her briefly from her testimony before the Credentials Committee of the Democratic National Convention in August 22, 1964, in Atlantic City, New Jersey: The second Negro began to beat [on orders from the Highway Patrolman] and I began to work my feet, and the state Highway Patrolman ordered the first Negro who had beat me to set on my feet to keep me from working my feet. I began to 23 Barbara Omolade (1990) in The Silence and the Song also emphasizes historical missed representation of black women in both black and feminist writing: “despite the range and significance of our history, we have been perceived as token women in Black texts and as token Blacks in feminist ones (p. 283). 115 scream and one white man got up and began to beat me in my head and tell me to hush. One white man – my dress had worked up high, he walked over and pulled my dress down and then he pulled my dress back, back up. All of this on account we want to register, to become first-class citizens, and if the Freedom Democratic Party is not seated now, I question America. Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave where we have to sleep with our telephones off the hooks because our lives be threatened daily because we want to live as decent human beings, in America?24 I illustrate this last courageous, yet brutal speech because institutionally sanctioned violence against people and particularly marginalized women of colour is still rampant. We can all locate incidences of violence against women specific to where we live. For example, in the lower Mainland area of Vancouver where I live, over thirty poor women of varying ethnicities (mixed race, white, First Nations) “disappeared” from the downtown Eastside. It took the police over a decade to seriously begin investigating the possibility that their disappearances resulted in their murders.25 These struggles for human rights and social justice that feminism embodies are played out in both universal and specific struggles. At the same time feminist tensions between the universal and the specific has created resistance towards embracing ideologies that are driven by 24 From: Birnbaum and Taylor (Eds.) (2000). Civil Rights Since 1787. New York: New York University Press (pp. 522-523). 25 Robert William "Willie" Pickton of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia was convicted of the second-degree murders of six women. He was also charged in the deaths of an additional twenty women, many of them prostitutes and drug users from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. In December 2007 he was sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility of parole for 25 years – the longest sentence available under Canadian law for murder. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Pickton. 116 theories that pretend to include all women, when in practice they exclude the voices of the most marginalized by socio-economic conditions, such as the “homeless”. My own relationship with feminism is also filled with tensions and I too, during the 1980’s, became critical of the prevailing white middle class hegemony and lack of working class critique. In response, I began an extensive analysis of Canadian feminist labour history which culminated in the collectively produced stage play Midnight Operator (1986). Also during the 1980’s Marilyn Waring further deconstructed prevailing capitalist hegemonies to bring us an eco-feminist analysis of global economics. Who’s Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics, (NFB, 1996) “contrasts the vast unaccounted productivity of nature and women worldwide with United Nations- mandated national accounting systems rooted in military economics.”26 As the 1980’s proceeded, feminists began to seriously deconstruct universal and essentialist hegemonies, turning their attention to difference and the identity politics of representation. For example, Billie Jean Young (1990) found that there seemed to be a running battle between women of color and Caucasian women in the women’s movement. “Women of color tend to address issues of concern to women and children, and families, including men. The mainstream women’s movement concentrates instead on sex-specific issues like sexual harassment in the workplace” (1990, p. 141).27 Most notable in this period is the work of Chandra Mohany’s (1991) explosive, "Under 26 Waring’s recent work focuses on women’s work as an issue of international human rights. She has also done activist work on behalf of women imprisoned or denied refugee status because of what she calls “feminist political issues beyond the restricted definitions and practices of international human rights.” Retrieved from: http: //www.bullfrogfilms.com/catlogue/whoo.html. 27 Young, B.J. (1990). Fannie Lou Hamer. In M. Braxton, and Andree Nicola McLaughlin (Eds.) Wild Women in the Whirlwind. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. 117 Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses". In particular, Mohanty, (1991) articulates essentialist hegemonies pertaining to the construct of “woman”: The assumption of women as an already constituted, coherent group with identical interests, desires, regardless of class, ethnic or racial location, or contradictions, implies a notion of gender or sexual difference or even patriarchy which can be applied universally and cross culturally (pp. 399 – 400).28 Mohanty also examines how power is represented in these essentialist constructs: Because women are thus constituted as a coherent group, sexual difference becomes coterminous with female subordination, and power is automatically defined in binary terms. Such simplistic formulations are historically reductive; they are also ineffectual in designing strategies to combat oppression. All they do is reinforce binary divisions between men and women (p. 407). Nor do these oppositional categories of power relations (men have power, women don’t) speak to the women I have profiled. Certainly, I do not see these women as powerless victims. At the same time, I do not want to be criticized for producing yet again “the myth of the strong super-black woman that does not recognize black women’s exploitation and oppression”, as bell hooks (1989) remarks. “It is not that black women have not been and are not strong; it is simply that this is only part of our story” (p. 153). African American women have made an enormous contribution to our North American musical and historical narrative and this chapter does in fact honour this contribution. In 28 From: Mohanty, Chandra. (2006). Under western eyes: Feminist scholarship and colonial discourse. In Durham and Keller (Eds.) Media and Cultural Studies: Keyworks. Oxford UK: Blackwell Publishing. 118 keeping with hooks criticism of yet another white female contribution to this discourse I have attempted to let the voices of these black women speak for themselves. But even as I am made aware of my underlining privilege, it is still important to critique misrepresentations regardless of who is constructing them. An example of how prevailing essentialist assumptions regarding, gender, race and class are embedded in our cultural discourse, I turn again to Memphis Minnie. “Marrying fool” I ain’t gonna be nobody’s marrying fool No, I ain’t gonna be nobody’s marrying fool So if you’re lookin’ for a roost Better find somewhere else to rule.29 Feminist scholar and cultural theorist, Maria V. Johnson, (2007) in “Black Women Electric Guitarists and Authenticity in the Blues” notes that “Memphis Minnie, one of the few whose success earned her notice, transgressed the gender divide by playing the part of a hard-drinking, rough-talking, tobacco chewing blues man (her italics) by performing with her male partner.”30 The suggestion that Minnie was playing the “part of a man” forces Minnie in a mould of what is essentially a “woman” – Minnie is somehow not lady like. That Minnie was a hard drinking rough-talking, tobacco chewing gal may 29 Hunt L.A. Pearl, (2002). Marrying Fool (music and lyrics) [CD] registered SOCAN. All rights reserved. 30 From: Nancy Levine, (no date) She plays blues like a man: Gender bending the country blueswoman. Blues Review Quarterly, 7(W), p. 37. 119 have had more to do with her rural upbringing than any conscious effort to “play” at being male. Minnie was notorious for singing, playing and chewing tobacco —“she could spit without missing a note.”31 It was not unusual for women to chew tobacco as historically, tailor made cigarettes did not reach their massive popular sales until after the Second World War. Most rural people, including Black people, chewed tobacco. Johnson, by relegating Minnie’s musical success to her relationship with male partners again deprives Memphis Minnie of any personal or historical agency. That Minnie was a better instrumentalist than her partners seems to be overlooked in Johnson’s particular critique. Del Rey (1997) shows another version of this history. “The forties treated Minnie and Son Joe32 well and they performed both together and separately depending on their finances (they could make more money playing separate gigs).” It is far more probable that Minnie’s partners gained their status by performing with her. What no historian disputes, however, is Minnie’s ongoing passion with sound technology. “Minnie was quick to embrace the latest technologies in order to be heard above the crowds. She was one of the first blues players to use a National in 1929 and to play an electric wood body National and various electric guitars in the 40’s and 50’s” ( Rey, 1997). Nobody can take that away. Over the past decades, essentialist ideas of what women should be and do has been the work of feminist deconstruction. Although the deconstruction of essentialist notions of what it is to be a “woman” and the following fragmentation brought about through that 31 Rey, Del. Memphis Minnie: Guitar queen (a version of this article was originally published in Acoustic Guitar Magazine, 1997). Retrieved from http://hobemainrecords.com/memphisminniehomepage.html 32 Minnie’s third husband, Ernest Little “Son Joe” Lawyers, a Memphis based guitarist to whom she was married to for 23 years. From: http://www.hobemianrecords.com/memphisminniehomepage.html (p.3). 120 analysis was both organic and necessary – it scattered feminist forces in a plurality of directions. As the academy became fixated on the “performativity” of texts – the populist ideals of mobilization were replaced by an ideology of difference that for some feminist scholars, such as McRobbie (2006), brought on another set of tensions: If we no longer know what woman is, if we are all good anti-essentialists, and if we take in account the critique by black feminists of white feminist universalisms, how do we move from analyzing the implications for power of the borders and boundaries, to actively redefining the bonds through which a politics remains viable? (p. 526).33 For some African American women feminism is a label solely for members of a white women’s movement, suggesting that sisterhood between white and black women will not be achieved at the expense of race. Feminist theorist Crenshaw (1994) points out that the value of (white) feminist theory to black women is diminished because it evolves from a white racial context that is seldom acknowledged. “Not only are women of colour overlooked, but their exclusion is reinforced when white women speak for us as women” (1994, 181).34 Tricia Rose (1994) cautions that white feminist theorists must not be satisfied with simply “letting the other speak” but should begin a systematic re- evaluation of how feminism is conceptualized and how ethnicity, class, and race seriously fracture gender as a single axis category (p. 181). It is in this intersection between music, race, class and gender that my polemic is conceptualized. 33 From: McRobbie (2006), Feminism, postmodernism and the “real me”. In Durham & Kellner (Eds.) Media and Cultural Studies: Keyworks. Oxford UK: Blackwell Publishing. 34 From: Rose, T. (1994) Black noise: Rap music and Black culture in contemporary America. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England. 121 Bringing it all back home It seems to me that the academy, having unpacked essentialist “woman” has placed our differences like artefacts on the shelves in their offices and there the artefacts sit, collecting dust. I am suggesting that we dust off our differences and get back on the tracks for even if the train has all the latest bells and whistles it is still riding the capitalist/militarist rails. The Jim Crow car may now be integrated but it’s still packed full of women, children, elderly, and disabled, most of who are going to be people of colour. And if you’re poor, you can’t even get on board. Although many scholars will accuse me of economic reductionism, we only need to recall the images of hurricane Katrina’s aftermath in New Orleans to know who gets to be on the freedom train and who doesn’t. How do we find our way into a new discourse? I suggest it is precisely at these crossroads where music, race and culture meet that feminism has and will continue to interject its unique forms of resistance for “culture is a broad site of learning and perhaps we can learn and are most open to ideas when barriers between the disciplines and the academy and experiences of everyday life are broken down” (McRobbie, 2006, p. 524). As a musician, performing both within and outside of the academy, I have found great inspiration through my cultural exchanges and fieldwork in both the United States and Africa. In particular, I want to draw attention to several social justice networks that are mobilizing with “difference”. These include: DAWN, Development Alternative with Women for a New Era, an international collective of feminist scholars offering holistic analysis from a south feminist perspective and Mpambo Multiversity a global network of adult educators with strong feminist and arts based mandates. Inside the academy, 122 centers of cultural studies such as The Centre for Culture and Identity in Education at the University of British Columbia that utilizes “cultural studies and related discourses in the promotion of local cultural and activist work as well as collaborative research undertaken at the local, national and global levels”35, provide the most hope for interdisciplinary praxis oriented field work. Anthea, a graduate student of cultural theorist, Keyan Tommeselli, at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa regarding praxis based field work, declares: “It is difficult for us involved in the field to facilitate productive outcomes for our objects of study. How much more unlikely is it for academics who don’t wish to get their hands dirty? Bring on the subversive cultural studies of origin!” (Tommeselli, 2001, p. 313). Now is the time to pack up those “unpacked” differences and get the show back on the road. For hesitation is the enemy. Like the performer who hesitates within the song and therefore acknowledges a misstep, a minor defeat, so, too, does hesitation herald the death knell of radical feminism. Even if we are not quite sure of our outcomes we must keep building bridges, keep listening to each other, not only within the North American context, but also forging an understanding of north/south politics that can benefit all people. “Such sustained efforts to reinforce a shared conviction can be healing” (hooks 1989, p. 8)…and ultimately mend some of the fractures which have resulted from arrogance and entitlement. In closing, I return to the aspect of music as experiential. Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, along with being a powerful orator, was a powerful vocalist and always began her meetings 35 The UBC Centre for Culture and Identity website: http://ccie.educ.ubc.ca/ 123 with a song in order to get the spirit moving.36 It is music’s ability to move us emotionally that makes it such a force for mobilization. The freedom songs that originated from the hybrid music of slaves continue to be reshaped and revealed in new ways to multiple participants conveying an ongoing historical narrative of resistance and by extension solidarity. In particular, the freedom songs from the civil rights movement have taken on a universal audience because their intent and impact moves us in a metaphysical context. It is at the emotional/spiritual junction that music imparts a form of understanding that Gramsci would reiterate is “knowledge.” But we will not reach that juncture at the crossroads unless we get on the road in the first place – the road where we can work collaboratively for social justice. Where we … Ain’t gonna let hesitation turn us round, turn us round, turn us round We ain’t gonna let hesitation turn us round Gonna keep on a walking, keep on a talking Marching up to freedom land 37 36 Mills, Kay. (1993).This Little Light of Mine - The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer. New York: Dutton Book. 37 One of the major attributes of folk music is that it is continually being revised to suit the needs or purpose of the time (Hunt, 2002). 124 References Appiah, K.A. (1990). Racisms. In Goldberg, D. (Ed.), Anatomy of Racism (pp. 1-17). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Bernasconi, R. (Ed.). (2001). Race. Oxford: Blackwell. Birnbaum and Taylor (Eds.). (2000). Civil Rights Since 1787 New York: New York University Press. Burns & Lefrance (Eds.). (2002). Disruptive Divas. New York: Routledge Clark, S. P. (1962). Echo in My Soul. New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., Clark, S. P. (1990). Ready from Within: Septima Clark and the Civil Rights Movement. Edited and with an introduction by Cynthia Stokes Brown. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press. Davis, A. (1990). Black women and music: A historical legacy of struggle. In Braxton, M. & McLaughlin, A. (Eds.), Wild women in the whirlwind (pp. 3-21). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Douglass, F. (1994/1845). Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, An American slave, written by himself, 1845. New York: The Library of America. Durham and Keller (Eds.). (2006). Media and cultural studies: Keyworks. Oxford UK: Blackwell Publishing. Essed, P. (1991). Understanding everyday racism: an interdisciplinary theory. London: Sage. Hayes, E., & Williams, L. (Eds.). (2007). Black women and music: more than the blues. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Henry, F., Tator, C., Mattis, W., & Rees, T. (Eds.). (1995). The colour of democracy: Racism in Canadian society. Toronto: Harcourt Brace & Company. hooks, bell. (1989). Talking back: Thinking feminist, thinking black. Boston, MA: South End Press. Horton, M. & Freire, P. (1990) We make the road by walking. Brenda Bell, John Gaventa and John Peters (Eds.). Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Hughes, L. (1942/1947) Here to Yonder PL Jazzbook, 1947 Hunt, L. A. Pearl. (2002a). The Highlander Way. Unpublished master’s thesis. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Johnson, M. (2007). Black women electric guitarists and authenticity in the blues. In Eileen Hayes & Linda Williams (Eds.), Black women and music: more than the blues (pp. 51-70). Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Kant, I. (1788/2001). On the use of teleological principles in philosophy. In Robert Bernasconi (Ed.), Race (pp. 37-56). Oxford: Blackwell. 125 Levine,N. (undated). She plays blues like a man: Gender bending the country blueswoman. Blues Review Quarterly, 7(W), p. 37. McClary, S. (1991). Feminine endings: Music, gender and sexuality. Minneapolis Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. McRobbie, A. (2006/1985). Feminism, postmodernism and the “real me”. In Durham & Kellner (Eds.) Media and cultural studies: Keyworks (pp. 589-610). Oxford UK: Blackwell Publishing. Memmi, A. (2000/1982). Racism. (Steve Martinot, Trans.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Mills, K. (1993). This little light of mine - The life of Fannie Lou Hamer. New York: Dutton Book. Mohanty, C. (2006/1991). Under western eyes: feminist scholarship and colonial discourse. In Durham and Keller (Eds.) Media and Cultural Studies: Keyworks (pp. 462- 487). Oxford UK: Blackwell Publishing. Nash, T. (director) (1995). Who’s Counting?: Marilyn Warring on Sex Lies and Global Economics. [video]. The National Film Board of Canada. Ng, R., Staton, P., & Scane, J. (1995). Anti-racism, feminism, and critical approaches to education. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1995. Omolade, B. (1990). The silence and the song: Towards a black woman’s history through a language of her own. In Braxton, M. & McLaughlin, A. (Eds.), Wild women in the whirlwind (pp. 282-295). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Popkin, R. (1980). The philosophical bases for modern racism. The high road to pyrrhonism (pp. 79-102). San Diego: Austin Hill Press. Reagon, B. (1993). We who believe in freedom: Sweet Honey in the Rock. New York: Anchor Books. Rey, D. Memphis Minnie: Guitar queen (a version of this article was originally published in Acoustic Guitar Magazine, 1997). Retrieved from: http://hobemainrecords.com/memphisminniehomepage.html Robnett, B. (1997). How long? How long? African American women in the struggle for civil rights. New York: Oxford University Press. Rose, T. (1994). Black Noise: rap music and Black culture in contemporary America. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England. Roth, B. (2004). Separate Roads to Feminism: Black, Chicana, and White feminist movements in America's second wave. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. Seeger, P. and Reiser, B. (1989). Everybody says freedom; including many songs collected by Guy and Candie Carawan. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. Storey, J. (Ed.). (1996). What is cultural studies? A reader. London: Arnold. 126 Tillett, B. (Ed.) (1975). Jerry Silverman’s Folk Song Encyclopedia (Vol. 1, 400). New York: Chappell Music Co. Tomaselli, K.G. (2001). Blue is hot, red is cold: Doing reverse cultural studies in Africa. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 1 (3), 283-318. Young, B.J. (1990). Fannie Lou Hamer. In Braxton, M. & McLaughlin, A. (Eds.), Wild women in the whirlwind. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press Interviews Guy and Candie Carawan, New Market, Tennessee. October 2, 2000. Sound recordings Hunt, L. A. Pearl, (music and lyrics) and Sigmund David (producer) (2002a). Song for the Unsung [CD] Vancouver, BC: David Sigmund Production. Simon Fraser University Collection. Hunt, L. A. Pearl, (music and lyrics) and Sigmund David (producer) (2002b). Marrying Fool [CD] Vancouver, BC. Registered SOCAN. All rights reserved. Smithsonian/Folkways Recordings. (1990). Been in the storm so long, [CD]. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Folkways. Smithsonian/Folkways Recordings. (1997). Voices of the Civil Rights Movement, [CD]. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Folkways. Websites Centre for Culture and Identity in Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. Website: http://ccie.educ.ubc.ca/people.html Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era [DAWN] website: http://www.dawnnet.org/index.php Mpambo Multiversity, Kampala, Uganda. Website: http://mpambomultiversity.org/ 127 6. SOUNDING OFF: MUSIC AS METHOD1 Praxis oriented research, like praxis oriented cultural studies, often draws on overlapping research traditions. Within the parameters of praxis-based research, I explore the use of both critical ethnography and Freirean “empowering” or participatory research accenting the position of music within these research traditions. By expanding upon an efficient methodology for the inclusion of aural data within the discourse of qualitative research methodologies, I suggest that music has an untapped potential to be a research tradition within its own right. That music making is research as praxis is premised on a “transformative agenda” with respect to social structures and methodological norms. This chapter then, begins to draw connections between and among participatory research, critical ethnography, and music as a means of recovering praxis based research. In discussing how various links between music and the research traditions of critical ethnography and participatory research occur, I begin this discourse by briefly defining these traditions and positioning my own cultural work within these research methodologies. 1 A version of this chapter will be submitted for publication. Hunt, L.A. Pearl (2010) Sounding off: Music as method. 128 Participatory Research Peter Parks (2001) in “Knowledge and Participatory Research” defines participatory research as “action-oriented research activity in which ordinary people address common needs arising in their daily lives and, in the process, generate knowledge” (p. 81).2 Adding to this definition, Budd Hall (2001) describes participatory research as “an integrated three pronged research process of social investigation, education and action, designed to support those with less power in their organizational or community setting” (p. 170).3 Hall also reminds us that participatory research as a practice has always existed, “wherever farmers, mothers, workers, the poor, the ‘pushed out’ have struggled collectively to understand their contexts, learn their worlds and to take action to survive or, from time to time, carve out some gains against the more powerful in our worlds” ( 2001, p. 174). Participatory research can be described as a ‘way of life’ (Smith et al., 1997) and often relies on the use of non-canonical approaches such as art, photography, video, theatre, oral history, storytelling, music/dance and other expressive media, to “reveal the more submerged and difficult to articulate aspects of the issues involved” (Parks, 2001, p. 81). Because of my background working within collectives of theatre, music and social activism – participatory, music-based methodologies represent a major portion of my cultural work and socio-political ideology. As Freire mentions: “In my point of view, it is necessary to perceive in a very clear way the ideological background which determines 2 From: Parks, Peter (2001). Knowledge and participatory research. In Reason, P. & Bradbury, H. (Eds.) Handbook of action research. Thousand Oaks: Sage. 3 From: Hall, Budd (2001). I wish this were a poem of practices of participatory research. In Reason, P. & Bradbury, H. (Eds.) Handbook of action research. Thousand Oaks: Sage. 129 the methodology...It should invite people to believe that they have knowledge [and to] discover their historical existence through the critical analysis of their cultural production: their art and their music” (Freire, 1971, 1 (5), p. 5).4 Participatory research is the social and collective construction of knowledge. It is vital to recognize that we also create knowledge through cultural participation and cultural production. Budd Hall (2009) further articulates how music can be positioned as a major force in the construction of both methodology and knowledge: Music is a means of representing holistic knowledge...it is a means of creating that knowledge. A musical way of working can be in and of itself a research tool in that sense...as can theatre, murals, poetry, etc. It is time for us to go beyond seeing music as a kind of communications or knowledge mobilization tool, but to recognize it for what it is (in part), a way of creating knowledge that is holistic and capable of movement/action for change.5 The focus of my methodology as a cultural worker is to use music as a method of inquiry through musical participation, transferring that data into music composition and representing the music/songs through their transmission as knowledge. For example, my master’s thesis, Songs for the Unsung (Hunt, 2002)6 was a compilation of original compositions (music and lyrics) representing my music-based field work through the Southern United States to articulate “music and social change” specific to African 4 From: Hall, B. (2001, p. 172). 5 Hall, B. (personal communication, June 3, 2009). 6 Hunt, L.A. Pearl (2002). Songs for the Unsung. [Compact Disc]. Music component of unpublished master’s thesis, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia., Canada. 130 American civil rights. This chapter proceeds to theorize how music (and by extension aural data) can be employed, not only as a participatory tool within research practices to create knowledge, but also as a methodology for research purposes. Building upon the social and historical relationship between music and social change, I am suggesting, music is a method of social change. It is within this “music as method” context that I also explore (experiment) with the ways music can operate as ethnographic voice within a critical ethnography. Critical Ethnography The sheer surprise of a living culture is a slap to reverie. Real bustling, startling cultures move. They exist. They are something in the world. They suddenly leave behind empty, exposed, ugly - ideas of poverty, deprivation, existence and culture. Real events can save us much philosophy. – Paul Willis, Profane Culture (1978, p. 1) Willis realizes the work of critical ethnography is “to see cultural experience essentially as shared material experience coming from direct involvement in the ‘everyday’ world” (1978, p. 2). He goes on to tell the reader that “for all the shit, there is a freedom in the market, on the streets, in the pubs and in the dance halls” (p. 5) and suggests that “we must listen to the streets before we listen at the towers” (p. 7). Willis articulates the concept of praxis-based research whereby he combines both cultural theory and ethnographic practice to reflect upon and illuminate the “everyday” world of his subjects. 131 Critical ethnography, rooted in the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu, the sociolinguistics of Basil Bernstein and the British cultural studies of the Birmingham Centre, connects research to specific local/indigenous knowledge in order to illuminate hegemonic uses of power in historical and socially produced processes. “Whereas conventional ethnographies study culture for the purpose of describing it, critical ethnographies do so to change it,” (Thomas, 1993, pp. 2-3). Critical ethnography, according to Thomas (1993), is a way of applying a subversive worldview to the conventional logic of cultural inquiry. “It does not stand in opposition to conventional ethnography. Rather, it offers a more direct style of thinking about the relationships among knowledge, society and political action” (p. vii). Because critical ethnography involves a resistance to ascribed hegemony it entails “ Wildness – a call to reject inhibitions imposed by assumed meanings to cultivate in their place the fiercely passionate and undomesticated side of our scholarly nature that challenges preconceived ideas” (p.7). Berger and Negro (2004) in their essays on the study of folklore, music and popular culture suggests ethnographic methods are but one component in a larger orientation that seeks to understand a given social world by taking seriously the diverse perspectives of the actors within it (p. 20). Ethnography’s concern is with how actors symbolically inhabit their worlds: “what are their agendas, their de-coding, their stories, their uses of objects and artifacts” (Willis, 2000, p. xii) and, for the purposes of this inquiry, their use of music. Although critical ethnographic research has evolved towards a pedagogy of performative inquiry (Willis, 2000; Denzin, 1997, 2003) and musicians and educators 132 such as Seeger (1963, 1989) and Carawans (1967, 1968, 1990) have utilized performance based participatory research methodologies in organizing, there is scant literature regarding the intersection of these traditions. There is even less literature about using music as a major source of social data within ethnographic and participatory contexts. As Bauer (2000) asserts, “the dominance of verbal data in the social sciences leaves sound and music as generally underexploited resources for social research” (p. 278). Bauer goes on to suggest that: “The current pervasiveness and universal emotional power of sounds and of music as a medium of symbolic representation would suggest they could be a useful source of social data. This potential is, however, not matched as yet by an efficient methodology and a critical mass of research,” (p. 278). Music as Method My research addresses this gap in knowledge/methodology and empowers music as a major source of social data within critical ethnography, participant witnessing and auto ethnography. In drawing links between and among research traditions and historical evidence, I am suggesting that perhaps music making is the efficient methodology that we have been seeking. In developing the praxis-based components of this methodological investigation, I begin by situating music performance as a participatory method whereby music, like culture, is seen as ordinary (Williams, 1958b; Storey, 1996) and part of everyday lives. 133 Music gives significance to all those indefinable aspects of experiences which nevertheless help to make us what we are. In the swift whirl of time, music is a constant, reminding us of what we were and of that toward which we aspired. Are thou troubled? Music will not only calm, it will enable thee. Ralph Ellison (1972, p. 198)7 Roland Barthes (1977) pointed out that the written language is the only semiotic system capable of interpreting another semiotic system. He asked “How then, does language manage when it has to interpret music? Alas, it seems very badly” (Barthes, 1977, p. 179).8 Confronted with music, there is a poverty of language; we simply don’t have the words to transpose the alchemy of sound. The best one can hope for in writing about music is better kinds of failure. So, to preface this section of theorizing music as a research tradition, I am risking failure. (But then again, risking failure comes with the role of the cultural worker so it is familiar territory.) The socio-historical significance of music making has a long tradition of practice in aural and non western cultures. However, there is little theorizing of music’s place within critical discourse and research practices of western knowledge production. Some Western theories of sound, noise and organized noise (music) can be referenced in the early works of Schafer (1977), McLuhan (1964), Attali (1985), and Gilroy (1987) and 7 From: Bull, M. & Back, L. (Eds.). (2003). The auditory culture reader. Oxford, UK: Berg. 8 From: Introduction. In Bull, M. & Back, L. (Eds.) (2003) The auditory culture reader. Oxford, UK: Berg (p. 11). 134 their ideas still tend to be some of the most radical (as in root) sources of theorizing both music and sound. Soundscapes Canadian composer, Murray Schafer, first coined the term soundscape in his seminal work, “The Tuning of the World”, (1977/2003). Schafer’s concerns with sounds as formative of culture are also pedagogical. He suggests that sounds are not merely descriptive, but cognitive, value laden and hierarchical: “The silencing of sound in academic discourse is indicative of a broader based ‘silencing’ in the fields of politics and everyday life” (2003, p. 21). Soundscapes, which Schafer claims are analogous to landscapes, are always/already changing. As example, he suggests that the failure of the twentieth century to protect the natural habitats of birds and animals is largely due to the fact that we no longer hear nature or can put names to the sounds. Schafer not only articulates an evolving relationship to essentialist notions of nature but also affirms that soundscapes are representative of social transformation. If you can’t name the birds, if you don’t know how to recognize the leaves or the trees by the sounds they make, or hear a cataract down the river, or recognize when a winter wind is bringing in a storm, nature is anaesthetized, and its survival will depend on faces other than human (Schafer, 2003, p. 21). Paul Gilroy, in his contribution to the Auditory Culture Reader, “Soundscapes of the Black Atlantic”, wonders how we should articulate the evident connections between sculpted soundscapes of tone, volume, voice and rhythm, and the emotional and 135 psychological effects that it both solicits and creates. “There should be nothing automatic or overly mystical in this course, but we do need to leave room for it in analysis of the way music is heard and made useful as an image of the will: individual and collective” (2003, p. 393). Gilroy believes that “a note of music comes to us and is we, unlike the visual, which is primarily I divorced from the ‘other’ (2003, p. 6).9 You can’t hear race in the same way you see it and music offers a kind of “crossing place” (2003, pp. 14-15). Put simply, you can’t segregate the airwaves, sounds move, they escape, they carry. 10 Acoustic space Marshall McLuhan (1997) 11 articulates “acoustic space” through the essential feature of sound claiming that “auditory space is a sphere without fixed boundaries, space made by the thing itself, not space containing a thing. [Sound] is not pictorial space, boxed in, but dynamic, always in flux, creating its own dimensions moment by moment” (p. 41). Like other scholars such as Gilroy, and Schafer, McLuhan recognized that the “ear is closely affiliated with man’s emotional life, originally in terms of survival” (McLuhan, 1997, p. 42). Auditory space has the capacity to elicit the gamut of emotions from us, from the marching song to opera…It need not be representational, but can speak, as it 9 From: Introduction. In Bull, M. & Back, L. (Eds.) (2003) The auditory culture reader. Oxford, UK: Berg. 10 Bull and Back (2003) attribute the idea of “crossing place” to Berenat (pp. 14- 15). 11 McLuhan, M. (1997). Media research: technology, art, communication edited by Michel A. Moos Australia: G & B Arts. 136 were, directly to emotion. Music can, of course, be visually evocative, or it can be made to subserve the ends of visual presentation. But there is no demand music do either (McLuhan, 1997, p. 43). Despite the invasion of digital culture and numerous representational mediums of music, music does not need any external referential to be produced. Unlike, film, video, and digital recording, music can be produced regardless of electronics or instrumentation. For McLuhan (and others such as Edmunds and Bogdan, 2008) music upholds a unity that does not separate the medium from the message but rather embodies both at the same time. In Understanding Media (1964/66), McLuhan’s text that bought us the idea of “the medium is the message”, he speaks directly to this embodiment: Before the electric speed and total field [recording technologies], it was not obvious that the medium is the message. The message, it seemed was the “content”, as people used to ask what a painting was about. Yet they never thought to ask what a melody is about…In such matters, people retained some sense of the whole pattern, of form and function as a unity (p. 28).12 For McLuhan it seems that melody is the one musical element that best reflects the desire in the present day for unity and engagement. Edmunds (2008)13 pushes 12 From: Bogdan, D. (2008). Music, McLuhan, modality: Musical experience from “extreme occasion” to “alchemy”. In Gibson, T. (Ed.), Marshall McLuhan’s “medium is the message”: Information literacy in a multimedia age [Special issues] MediaTropes, 1, 73-101. Available at: http://www.mediatropes.com. 13 From: Edmunds, M. (2008). “Flip-side overlap”: The Medium is the Music. In Gibson, T. (Ed.), Marshall McLuhan’s “medium is the message”: Information literacy in a multimedia age [Special issues] MediaTropes, 1, 102-112. 137 McLuhan’s ideas further by suggesting that the “medium is the music” (p. 102). Music, I am suggesting, is not only medium (message), but also a holistic experience. Noise Music is the battleground on which divergent concepts of order and noise are fought out. Music is only the first skirmish in a long battle for which we need a new theory and strategy if we are to analyze its emergence, manifestations, and results. Music is a foretoken of evolution on the basis of behavior in the human world. – Jaques Attali (1985, p. 136.) Music is nothing but organized noise. You can take anything – street sounds, us talking, whatever you want – and make music by organizing it. That’s still our philosophy, to show people that this thing you call music is a lot boarder than you think it is. – Rapper Hank Shocklee 14 In Jacgues Attali’s (1985) Noise: The Political Economy of Music,15 Attali notes that before the industrial Revolution, there existed no legislation for the suppression of noise 14 Shockee quote from: Rose, T. (1994). Black noise: Rap music and black culture in contemporary America. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England (p. 82). 138 and commotion: “The right to make noise was a natural right, an affirmation of each individual’s autonomy” (p. 123). For Attali, music is inscribed between noise and silence, in the “space of the social codification it reveals” (p. 19) making music a “tremendously privileged site for the analysis and revelations of new forms in our society” (p. 133). Although McLuhan would substitute medium for form both McLuhan and Attila believed music runs parallel to human society because it is structured like it and changes when it does. “…it does not evolve in a linear fashion, but is caught up in the complexity and circularity of the movements of history” (Attali, 1985, p. 10). According to McLuhan, transformational changes are not simply unidirectional or necessarily positive. Nor does cultural change proceed as a straightforward linear progression. He dismisses linear concepts in favour of a view of cultural evolution as a “multilinear process’’ (1995, p. 102).16 Like McLuhan, Attali finds “every code of music is rooted in the ideologies and technologies of its age, and at the same time produces them…time traverses music and music gives meaning to time” (Attali, 1985, p. 19). This musical code can represent social historical narratives, transfer knowledge or mobilize for resistance. 15 Attali, J. (1985) Noise: The political economy of music, (Brian Massumi, Trans. with an afterword by Susan McClary). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 16 From: McLuhan, M. (1995). Essential McLuhan. (E. McLuhan & F. Zingrone, Eds.). Basic Books: New York. 139 Music as code Susan McClary (1991)17 recognizing the importance of music as coded historical knowledge remarks: “to the large extent that music can organize our perceptions of our own bodies and emotions it can tell us things about history that are not accessible through any other medium” (p. 30). Tricia Rose (1994) in Black Noise also reiterates how musical codes work to produce subversive tactics: Under social conditions in which sustained frontal attacks on powerful groups are strategically unwise or successfully contained, oppressed people use language, dance, and music to mock those in power, express rage, and produce fantasies of subversion. These cultural forms are especially rich and pleasurable places where oppositional transcripts or the “unofficial truths” are developed, refined and rehearsed (Rose, 1994, p. 99). These “unofficial truths” may not be all that pleasurable to experience, depending on one’s position of power and privilege. The prevalent sexist, loud, violent black noise of rap music continues to be the subject of much political contention regarding censorship. Yet, rap’s unofficial truth reveals decades of social injustice among American urban black youth whose potential for incarceration far surpasses any other demographic within the United States (The same parallel can be made with young Canadian Aboriginal males and their disproportionate incarceration.)18 17 McClary, S. (1991). Feminine endings: Music, gender and sexuality. Minneapolis Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 18 In 2007/2008, Aboriginal adults accounted for 22% of admissions to sentenced custody, while representing 3% of the Canadian population. Stats Can. 140 Over time, these unofficial truths can become widely accepted “mainstream” and progressive ideals. As example is the song “We Shall Overcome,” which, when sung during the civil rights movement of the 1060’s , was considered by white southern law officials as both dangerous and subversive. Today, that same song represents universal human rights and serves as an example of the transformative power of hope. Not only do ideological codes of music change over time but also music assists in the transformation of the codes. Sites of coding African American music for political resistance are numerous and many. From the underground railway to beyond the civil rights movement, music has been a method of fighting back, a tactic which can never be completely censured or erased – even when one is imprisoned. Rose (1994) also describes how music is a transformative, dynamic method of knowledge production: “These dances, languages and musics produce communal bases of knowledge about social conditions, communal interpretations of them and quite often serve as the cultural glue that fosters communal resistance” (p. 100). Given music’s powerful use as a method of human mobilization, it seems unclear why we make very few theoretical connections to music’s potential as a research method. Perhaps, this has to do with the western “fear of the body”. Both Rose and McClary note that in many cultures music and movement are inseparable activities, and the physical engagement of the musician in performance is desired and expected. By contrast, Western culture – with its puritanical, idealist suspicion of the body – has tried throughout much of its history to “mask the fact that actual people produce the sounds 141 that contribute to music” (McClary, 1991, p. 136). The mind/body split that has plagued Western culture for the past several centuries shows up most paradoxically in attitudes towards music: “the most cerebral, nonmaterial of media is at the same time the medium most capable of engaging the body” (p. 151).19 The emergence of performance art in the 1980’s20 critiques this erasure by insisting on the artist as a performing body and the piece is inscribed on and through the body (McClary, 1991, p. 137). For example, McClary analyzes an early performance of Laurie Anderson (1981) whereby Anderson deliberately plays with the anxieties of the mediated voice and body. “Her presence is always already multiple mediated: as her voice is layered upon itself by means of technologies such as sequencers, vocoders and pillow speakers” (McClary, 1991, p. 137). Anderson’s work shifts back and forth across boundaries, sometime focusing on social critique and sometimes on developing new models of pleasure. Anderson’s “O Superman” (1981 hit single) crosses borders between modern and post modern structures as she deconstructs modern western musical notation whereby the structural (tonic) is confused with the ornamental (inverted third) as the musical semiotics of desire (major chord/male) and dread (minor chord/female) whereby “the tidy structures of formal analysis – those assurances of unitary control – become hopelessly tangled” (McClary, 1991, p. 144). It is music’s ability to cross borders, disciplinary boundaries and paradigms, along with geopolitical nation states that allows music to be reflective of cultural imperialism, and ultimately is a mode of transformation. Tricia Rose (1994) in Black Noise describes how 19 McClary explains the erasure of the body in orchestral music is the reason for black attire. 20 Performance has resurged with the current work of artists such as Lady Gaga. 142 the origins of rap music also cross paradigms between oral culture and postmodern technologies claiming that rap is a complex fusion of orality and postmodern technologies. In this process of “techno-black cultural syncretism, technology and black cultural priorities are revised and expanded. Rap music has made its mark on advanced technologies and technology has profoundly changed the sound of black music” (Rose, 1994, pp. 95-96). Like many ground breaking musical genres, rap has expanded popular aural territory. Bringing together sound elements from a wide range of sources and styles and relying heavily on rich Afrodiasporic music, rap musicians’ technological in(ter)ventions are not ends in and of themselves, “they are means to cultural ends, new contents in which priorities are shaped and expressed” (Rose, 1994, p. 95). Black music as historical representations of musical commodification has a long and sordid history. Attali notes: “Music did not really become a commodity until a broad market for popular music was created. Such a market did not exist when Edison invented the phonograph; it was produced by the colonization of black music by the American industrial apparatus. The history of this commodity expansion is exemplary. A music of revolt transformed into a repetitive commodity” (1985, p. 103). Rose (1994) argues that repetition as an African construct differs widely from Adorno and Attali’s idea of repetition as a singular force which, once practiced inside a system of mass production, is subsumed by the larger logic of industrialization. This position, Rose points out, marginalizes or erases alternative uses of and relationships to repetition that might suggest collective resistance to that system. Rose calls for readings of commodification that can accommodate multiple histories and approaches 143 to sound organization. The purely western theoretical approaches to music of Attali and Adorno consequently “colonize and silence black approaches which have significant and racist implications” (Rose, 1994, pp. 72-73). Although Rose has pointed out a crucial problem with reading texts which are subsumed by western ideologies that often repeat structural and historical (missed) representations, Attali, somewhat of a radical himself, envisioned the future of music as walling off the noise of the world in a hypnotic repetition of meaninglessness, such as the iPod. Attali’s solution to escape this encroaching musical meaninglessness was through composition, the democratic return of music to the people. He states: The future of music lies in composition, an exchange between bodies – through work, not through objects. To exchange noises of the bodies. To create in common the code within which communication takes place. Any noise, when two people decide to invest their imaginary and their desire in it becomes a potential relationship, future order (Attali, 1985, p. 143). Perhaps, Attali is thrilled at the recent collapse of the recording industry and the return of composition to anyone with access to the virtual technologies of podcasting, webcams and the revolution of You Tube, which performs a new code for folk music. However, given Rose’s argument that music discourse is still largely Eurocentric, I must address the issue of virtual sites as sites of privilege and although users of virtual music are pervasive in the western world, the vast majority of humans do not have access to 144 this virtual world in any ongoing basis. As Attali reminds us, “in composition differences are perpetually called into question (147). 21 Is music universal? In current western academic discourse essentialist notions of the universal have been problematized, yet music tends to be one universal construct that cannot be deconstructed into nonexistence. Music lives, breathes, transforms. Some, like Attali, believe music is prophecy: It makes audible the new world that will gradually become visible, that will impose itself and regulate the order of things; it is not only the image of things, but the transcending of the everyday, the herald of the future. For this reason musicians, even when officially recognized, are dangerous, disturbing, and subversive… (1989, p. 11). The disturbing, subversive manifestations of Michael Jackson’s persona as he crossed gender and racial barriers through post human technologies does not alter the signal that Michael Jackson’s music-dance was honored after his death. The recognition of his musical works had global reach as witnessed by the millions of people across cultures, nations, and beliefs came forward with their tributes to his musical innovation, his 21 Even countries within the European Union notice a remarkable digital divide: For example in a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education in the United Kingdom, Rachel Thomson, a Senior Programme Director at NIACE, states: “All of NIACE’s research over recent years, points to an absolute connection between the learning poor, the economically poor and the digitally poor. The findings of this survey illustrate the harsh reality of the continuing digital divide.” From: GEO/ICAE, Voices Rising VII - Nº 334, November 20, 2009. 145 aptitude to “herald the future”. Not only did Jackson raise the bar for music videos, but also, his combination of music dance foretold the advance of the industry standard. Even in his death, his works continue to push the boundaries of performance as evidenced in the film Michael Jackson ‘This Is It’ (Ortega, 2009) which documented the rehearsal process for Jackson’s scheduled London shows. In particular, was the use of multi-dimensional (3D) imagery in performance.22 Michael Jackson strikes an emotional chord with many, even if these emotions are conflicted as I, for one, try to separate the man from his music. This separation, I realize, is not possible. Michael Jackson’s identity was as much his music as the sound and gestures he produced – Michael was the medium. His music-dance will reverberate for generations of sound. Something fundamental and universal happened with his music: Even a causal look at song traditions around the world reveals an intricate web of song lines between apparently disparate cultures which suggest that something fundamental and universal, something that affects people regardless of their specific place and time, lies at the heart of all musical impulse. – Murray Schafer (2003, p. 28) Regardless of cultural difference or access to technologies, people from every culture, past and present, create music for “when music emerges as an activity that is an end in itself, it creates its own code at the same time as the work” (Attali, 1985, p. 135). Music has the capacity for transformative praxis. 22 Ortega, K. (Director). (2009).Michael Jackson This Is It [documentary film]. United States: Columbia Pictures. 146 Music as praxis To put music into operation, is to draw it towards an unknown praxis. – Roland Barthes 23. As McClary (1991) notes: “if music were not able to move us, the academy would not have bothered creating any of it for formalists to dissect, for musicologists to catalogue, or for sociologist to classify” (p. 23). Music, as praxis, as medium, as message, as methodology, is a way of theorizing music beyond its appendixes as research data or research representations. Rather, like knowledge production, music is a methodology that has stood the test of time yet has never been able to stand on its own within western academic discourse. Instead, we have relegated music to the sidelines – as a component of media studies or digital studies and, with the exception of a very few scholars, have not theorized its importance as a method of research, as a means of knowledge production or its place within critical discourse. I am suggesting that music making as a methodology connects the researcher to what Gilroy described as the “we” factor of music, what Cage and Pasler refer to as “accord” suggesting a “connection, a relationship, a being-in-accord with others, with what is, with what happens”24 (Pasler, 2008, p. 176).25 Through music making, the researcher connects as both an active participant and reflective analyst – a “crossing place” for praxis. There are few who 23 From: Attali, (1985, p. 135.) acknowledges the quote of Barthes is from L’Arc 40:17. 24 This idea, both Pasler and Cage utilize in their theorizing of the dynamics of music. (Pasler, 2008, p. 176). 25 Pasler, J. (2008). Writing through music: Essays on music, culture, and politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 147 would dispute that music has an emotional effect on all people, from all cultures, from all ages and abilities. Although I am not a musical therapist, I have witnessed its effects on the disabled. In fact, during a musical performance in a northern mental institution our performance was halted due to some clients (they called them patients then) becoming overexcited! Given music’s pervasiveness across time and place and technologies music would seem to be an ideal method of investigation into social and cultural inquiries. McLuhan felt that “in the electronic age we are living entirely by music” (Edmunds, 2008, p.107). Although I do not go that far in my estimation of our cultural makeup, I do feel music has long been overlooked, not only as means of representing research data but also as a legitimate form of cross-cultural research. It is in this regard that I push the boundaries of critical ethnography by suggesting that music making, as a form of cultural exchange, can combine both elements of critical ethnography and participatory practices to refine research processes. I next explore the ways in which music can contribute to the discourse of critical ethnography. The crisis of representation In J. Van Loon’s (2001) “Ethnography: A Critical Turn in Cultural Studies”, he reminds us that ethnography cannot be anything else but the writing of difference (self/other). Therefore, the language of ethnography is the language of representation. Poststructuralism’s emergence in the 1990’s challenged not only essentialist ideas of identity, in terms of race, gender and sexual orientation, but also, the ethical and 148 material uncertainly of representing “The Other.” The concept of voice became a major ethical dilemma in ethnographic practices resulting in what is historically referred to as the “crisis of representation”, whereby the presumed authority of the ethnographer was (and continues to be) questioned. Patti Lather (2007) expands on the crisis of representation as the necessary “getting lost” within ethnographic work whereby “failed accounts occasion new kinds of positioning, a within/against location that is non-innocent – about both doing it and troubling it simultaneously” (p. 38). Her approach to the problematic of voice is revealed as a sort of “stuttering knowledge that elicits the experience of the object through its very failures of representation” (p. 207). This idea of stammering echoes, in part, the origins of music which “was once background noise and a form of life, hesitation and stammering” (Attali, 1985, p. 106) and suggests that music making reflects a stuttering knowledge itself. The praxis of music as transdisciplinary voice For Lather, the central challenge of praxis based ethnographic research is how to maximize the researchers’ mediation between people’s self understandings and transformative social action without becoming impositional…”getting in and out of the way” (Lather, 1986, p. 269). Here the role of critical reflection is essential in order to document the tenuous positions of being inside, outside and inbetween often at the same time. Since music is an indicator of identity formation and performs the acoustic equivalent of voice, I am suggesting that music, and songs in particular, can be utilized 149 to represent and negotiate the partial nature of voice within critical ethnography. Lashua (2006b) suggests that soundscapes operate as interpretative windows into representational politics through voice and sound. “Soundscapes are stories partially told, yet they must additionally be heard,” (pp. 406-7).26 By utilizing songs to represent an auto ethnographic voice, the researcher can distance herself from an all encompassing authoritative ethnographic position and resemble instead, a mere movement in time – a voice that is inbetween, across and beyond the ethnography: a transdisciplinary voice. The idea of transdisciplinarity can also be utilized in developing multimedia forms of sound, image and text as a way to triangulate the data. Initially triangulation of data was felt to help eliminate the bias that a single collection method of data would illicit. Advocates (Atkinson, Delamont, & Housley, 2008) of multiple methods within research design now argue that each method of inquiry is likely to yield a different version of the phenomenon, or furnish a different perspective on it. These recent arguments regarding triangulating data begin to suggest more sophisticated ways of thinking about multiplicity in research design, and therefore we need to develop more complex models of relations between and across methods. Of particular interest in research design, is the availability of hypertexts, which Atkinson, Delamont and Housley (2008) believe may lead to the emergence of new kinds of qualitative and ethnographic insights resulting from the integration of a number of different media – including sound, visuals and written text. Multimedia or multimodal forms will “encourage ways of reading that are 26 From: Atkinson, P., Delamont, S. & Housley, W. (Eds.), (2008). Contours of culture. Plymouth, U.K.: Altamira Press (pp.197-198). 150 more open, more exploratory and less linear than the monograph or film” (p. 213). Such representational methods can enhance the inherent complexity of the social world by creating more open or “multi voiced” ethnographies that can nevertheless be grounded in a critical/social justice paradigm. Clark (1985) suggests that “theory is too often used to protect us from the awesome complexity of the world. Yet, the road to complexity is what we are on in our empirical efforts,” (in Lather, 2007, p. 65). I am suggesting that multimedia does represent these complexities: the complexities of voice, of positionality, of critical reflection, and the complexities of empirical research itself. Mulitmedia serves the inclusion of visual and sound data into qualitative research traditions, not only in terms of representation of data, but also as a method of inquiry. Given the complexities that Clark suggests, it is time to move beyond the traditions of text based methods and recover praxis through a more performative, participatory methodology. It is within this context that I suggest we have much to gain from the application of music to research inquiries. 151 References Attali, J. (1985). Noise: The political economy of music. Brian Massumi Trans., afterword by Susan McClary. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Bull, M. & Back, L. (Eds.). (2003). The auditory culture reader. Oxford, UK: Berg. Atkinson, et al. (2008). Contours of culture: complex ethnography and the ethnography of complexity. Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira Press. Bauer, M. (2000). Analyzing noise and music as social data. In Bauer, M. & Gaskell, G. (Eds.), Qualitative researching with text, image and sound: A practical handbook (pp. 263- 281).Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Berger, H. & Del Negro, G. (2004). 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Malden, MA: Polity Press. 154 Willis, P. (1978). Profane culture. London, UK: Routledge. 155 7. USING MUISC TO REPRESENT VOICE: DEVELOPING A METHODOLOGICAL PROCESS FOR MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION 1 Introduction2 In formulating an approach to multicultural education, I begin with the premise that all humans have contributed to world development and the flow of knowledge and information, and that most human achievements are the result of mutually interactive, international effort. This premise is also the foundation of the broader epistemological framework associated with peace education. Like multicultural education, peace education, to have integrity, advocates for the non-hierarchical approach to reflexive learning that respects and celebrates a variety of cultural perspectives on world phenomena. Although there are critics of multicultural education such as George Dei (2000)3 who suggests that we promote antiracist education and Appiah’s (2006) resolve that cosmopolitanism better fits the ideas of diversity in people and practice, these theorists do agree that conversation or dialogue is key to negotiating and understanding difference. Dialogue is also a core principle of peace education (Freire, 1970; Reardon, 1988; O’Sullivan, 1999). Peace education, unlike multicultural education, is not ethnocentric and instead examines the diversity of our ecosystem in regards to social and environment justice, believing it is impossible to have one without the other (Clover, Follen &Hall, 2000). 1 A version of this chapter has been submitted for publication. Hunt, L.A. Pearl (2010). Researching difference: Enacting multicultural education using critical ethnography. 2 This paper was originally developed as a directed study CCFI 580. 3 George Dei has written extensively on antiracist education. His formative text Anti-racism education: Theory and practice [Fernwood Publishing, Halifax, 1996] is widely used in K – 12 programs in Canada. 156 Arguably, one of the “grand narratives” of modernism is mastery of science/technologies over nature – a theme which Mary Shelley (1816) critiques in her cautionary tale of industrialization.4 Postmodernists challenge the simplicity of grand narratives such as the nature/technology duality. Instead, current posthuman metaphysics refuses to accept “nature” as a given (Foster, 2005, p. 18).5 Perhaps this posthuman paradox can shed some light on our slow global response to accepting responsibility for and modifying our behaviors towards our environment/nature.6 Whether we believe nature as a construct is theoretically sound or that nature empirically exists, environmental disasters, either manmade or “acts of God” such as Hurricane Katrina, do occur and severely impact not only human experiences but also our ecosystem. After all, not all species on the planet are capitalists. (Or are they?) My ethnography then, looks at post Katrina as a “certain space [that] was shattered but did not disappear” 7 – a space where “traces, fragments and ruins survive, embedded in common sense, perspective, social practices and political power”(Lather, 2000, p. 200). It is precisely the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast who insisted that I tell their stories. “People need to know what is going on down here,” or “not going on” as the case proved to be. So rather than setting out to do an ethnography, this ethnography found me. The opportunity to tell their story as a critical ethnography presented itself as a means to transmit the desires and concerns of those that both inhabit and were forced 4 Shelley, Mary (1816). Frankenstein. New York: Signet Books.. 5 Foster, Tom, (2005) in his chapter “The Legacies of Cyberpunk Fiction” discusses movements in posthuman theory and the disagreement between libertarian discourse such as Kelly and Jameson over the role of “nature” in posthuman discourses. 6 An example was the refusal of Canada and the United States of America’s to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. 7 Lather, Patti (2000) from “Postbook: Working the Ruins of Feminist Ethnography.” Regarding Lather’s use of Henri Lefebre’s comments on architecture about 1910 – post modernism originated in architecture before its influence was felt in the social sciences and educational theory. 157 out of the Gulf Coast. Some people I met compared their experience of post Katrina to that of being the child with the red hair in a family of brunettes – the outcast – the ostracized “other.” Many stories of loss and ruin, some turning their backs on New Orleans and moving elsewhere, others, and many of them, will never leave their “home”. But, they all wanted me to go back to my home and tell people what was happening to them! So, in retelling their stories, this critical ethnography is an attempt to serve the needs of the participants. Music and social change Over the years, my research has articulated the relationship between music and social change. Not only can this relationship represent an oral historical narrative (Hunt, 2002) but also works as a force for mobilization and furthering critical pedagogy (Hunt, 2007 & 2009). I am particularly interested in examining how music intersects sites and people of differing class, gender, race and culture – disrupting prevailing hegemonies to advance social justice. It is with/in the focus of music and social change that I was invited to contribute a musical presentation at the conference Memphis: Crossroads of Music, Race and Culture in October of 2007. My journey began in Memphis. Then I travelled by Amtrak’s City of New Orleans to New Orleans’ French Quarter; and by car along the Gulf Coast, across Mississippi, ending in Mobile, Alabama. I collected data informally though conversations, other aural data such as noise and music, along with visual digital images. In particular, I found myself collecting maps as waterways became a major obstacle to navigation and the focus of much conversation as I was often in need of directions. Figure 7.1 Directions to Mobile In defining my process of working with/in emergent multimedia frameworks of text, image and sound, I also draw on my background in theatre, video, film and dramaturgy. Madison (2005) suggests that sometimes ethnographers have more in common with playwrights than scientists (p. 120) just as Turner and Schechner (1996) concur that co- operation between anthropologists and theatrical people could become a major teaching tool for both sets of partners (Carlson, 1996, p. 22).8 There are many overlapping methods in producing our respective (theatrical/ethnographical) 158 8 From: Madison, D. Soyini. (2005). Critical ethnography: method, ethics, and performance. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 159 representation, from data collection and analysis to dissemination. In developing my process, I draw on my experiences as a writer, editor and thespian along with the rigors of critical ethnography. Because of my dual roles as an artist/musician on the one hand and ethnographic researcher on the other, I am interested in work that brings both music and ethnography together. However, during my literature review, I began to realize the dearth of research pertaining to the use of music as social data. Often, when I am stymied while conducting the literature review, I take a field trip to the stacks. I really recommend going off to the stacks, especially as academia moves more and more towards online sources for information and journals, because with/in the stacks one quite often finds diamonds in the rough. In social constructivists’ Bauer & Gaskell’s (2000) Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound: A Practical Handbook, they aim to clarify procedures, and address public accountability and good practices in empirical inquiry. Although these scholars approach their research from a neo-liberal stance, they were one of the few sources I found that addressed the intervention of multimedia into the analysis and representation of data. Of particular interest to me was Bauer’s chapter “Analyzing Noise and Music as Social Data” (pp. 263-281). The dominance of verbal data in the social sciences leaves sound and music as generally underexploited resources for social research. The current pervasiveness and universal emotional power of sounds and of music as a medium of symbolic representation would suggest they could be a useful source 160 of social data. This potential is however, not matched as yet by an efficient methodology and a critical mass of research (Bauer, 2000, p. 278). As both an artist and scholar, I work largely with music as a source of social data and Bauer expresses the need for further development in this area. Perhaps, my ethnography, and by extension, this chapter, will contribute to this discourse. My process I made annotations of the literature and recorded quotes and references in a journal that became a home for my process in creating this ethnography. The journal served as a space for ruminating and adding questions, ideas and puzzles as I moved through the literature. Thomas (1993) notes, that with any critical ethnography, it is “especially susceptible to the need for flexibility because the questions that are most interesting may not be revealed until considerable background data emerges” (p. 35). As I moved through the literature and ruminated in my journal, it occurred to me that the process of constructing this ethnography mirrored in many ways the reconstruction process of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Katrina. The people who experienced Katrina’s devastation devised a rallying slogan for their reconstruction phase evidenced on everything from commercial billboards and T-shirts to simple card board signage, proclaiming: “Recover, Rebuild, Rebirth.” Using the inspiration of these words and people, I have titled my ethnographic process “Recall, Rebuild, Reclaim,” to highlight not only the actual process of developing the ethnography but also to honour, in a small 161 way, all those who were so generous and forthcoming with their time and stories. Of course, the writing of this paper was not a straight forward process as I often got lost in/between the steps of reconstructing what I was learning. Nevertheless recall, rebuild, reclaim became my approach /method/ process of writing this paper. Recall There came a time when I simply had to put down the books and start organizing my data because I wasn’t going to find the answers to my questions unless I looked at the data – not that I expected to get clear concise answers, but the data began to shed light on some of my questions/concerns. Unfortunately, I cannot relay any quick tricks to organizing data. I just simply sat down at the computer and began arranging my material into clusters, categories, files and folders. For the following recall section I will focus on three types of data: fieldnotes, digital images and music. Fieldnotes I had two types of raw data as field notes: jottings – notes that I scribbled while the event was taking place and headnotes – notes from memory which I composed shortly after the event or leaving the field. My headnotes were composed from memory because, as the researcher, I felt it was more important to focus on the event or person that I was talking with rather than taking notes. As an act of common courtesy, I never took notes during conversations unless the person wanted me to make a note of 162 something. I did take extensive jotted notes during our commercial tour of Katrina in New Orleans. The object of participant witnessing is to get close to those studied as a way of understanding what their experiences and activities “mean to them,” thus fieldnotes are written accounts that filter members’ experiences and concerns through the person and perspectives of the ethnographer. “Interpretation of data is the familiarization process in which we revise what we have seen and translate it into something new,” (Thomas, 1993, p. 43). Such is the case of Evelyn’s story: 9 Evelyn is the most wonderful gap toothed gal (like my mom) who was just as friendly as could be. I met Evelyn and her husband (never got his name) in the dining car of Amtrak’s “City of New Orleans.” One of the best reasons to travel by train is because you meet all sorts of people in the dining car (well those sorts who can afford to eat, that is). Like me, Evelyn and her husband boarded the train in Memphis at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. Both Evelyn and her husband were full of good tips about what to do and where to go in New Orleans as they used to live there before Katrina. They were going back to New Orleans to visit their children and to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Having a meal together we shared both food and stories. We began by discussing the breakfast menu and what looked good and ended up ordering the Bob Evans Special (Bob Evans is a local restaurant chain) which was a very bland mash of egg, sausage, potatoes, and cheese. All of us agreed it could use some hot sauce. The French toast 9 Evelyn and her husband, like many of New Orleans’ “dislocated” citizens, wanted to tell their story so others would know. They especially believed that the plight of working class blacks in New Orleans East was ignored by the media. 163 was good though! During breakfast our talked turned to Katrina and its aftermath but it wasn’t until later on in my trip that I began to truly realize the impact that Katrina had on Evelyn and her husband’s home in the largely Black middleclass neighbourhood of New Orleans East. No birds fly in the eastern sections of New Orleans; the wetlands oozing mould and mildew and toxins I cannot name. The shopping mall was bulldozed and nothing replaces it; now, just several acres of cracked cement stinking in the mid day sun. There is little left of the Black middle class in New Orleans East. I recall Evelyn and her husband’s resolve to not go back. I think they have made the right decision. The east side is so toxic. Where does one begin to rebuild in the “wet-cess.”10 And more importantly, why was anyone building there in the first place? The wetlands were needed to keep the waters from breeching the levees. Here we see the consequences of human manipulation of nature. While it is true that the levees were not maintained properly, ultimately they failed because of the weakened coastal wetlands – weakened by man-made interventions to support our oil–based infrastructure of capitalism. Over eighty percent of all coastal wetlands in the United States occur in Louisiana. “It is the fastest disappearing landmass on the planet,” (Clark, 2007, p. 352). Digital data My field notes, as jottings and headnotes, focused largely on informal conversations, such as the one I had with Evelyn and her husband, along with a commercial tour of 10 My combination of wetlands and cesspool…the devastation seemed to need a new word. 164 areas affected by Katrina. My digital representations/images cover the environment (ecosystem) of numerous wards/parishes of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. The digital images serve as both data collection and are cultural items in themselves and I had hundreds of them! I began analyzing the images by putting each digital image in a separate category until I depleted my preliminary categories. Then, I selectively began adding images to categories until I reviewed all the images. My preliminary “selective open categories” were: Storm/ Waterways/ Infrastructure/ People/ Music/ French Quarter/ Gulf coast/ Power shots. Making meaning through music At this point in my data analysis I felt I needed a song to serve as a thematic tool, to underscore and honour the oral/aural culture of New Orleans as a major site for twentieth century popular music. Music still fills the streets of the French Quarter spilling out of the bars and clubs; the corner sidewalks overflowing with street musicians working their way back towards a home. An often heard refrain in the night time of the French Quarter was a transitive take of an old folk song, The House of the Rising Sun: There is a house in New Orleans They call the Superdome In the ruins, many a poor boy And God I know I’m one. 11 11 U2 and Greenday at the Superdome, Sept. 25, 2006 were the first to perform these lyrics adapted from the folk song “House of the Rising Sun.” Performance at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjo1jXfxo_I 165 The preceding song demonstrates how the oral narrative of New Orleans builds upon their previous oral cultural roots. However, I did not choose to use this song as a thematic devise. Instead I settled on a “call and response” slave song, Been in the Storm So Long: 12 I’ve been in the storm so long, (the call) Yes, I’ve been in the storm so long (response) Singing Oh Lord, Give me little time to pray (call) Well I’ve been in the storm so long (all) This song spoke to me not only as a current reminder of the lack of response in the aftermath of Katrina but also in terms of the historical undertones of African American music. Been in the Storm so Long is what W.E.B. Du Bois calls a sorrow song. “In these songs the slave spoke to the world. Such a message is naturally veiled and half articulate. [Nevertheless] through all the sorrow of the Sorrow Songs there breathes a hope – a faith in the ultimate justice of things: that sometime, somewhere, men will judge men by their souls and not by their skins. Is such a hope justified? Do the Sorrow Songs ring true?”13 Du Bois asked these questions in 1903, however might he have asked the same questions during the aftermath of Katrina’s storm when the levees broke?14 12 I first encountered this song on a Folkways recording of that title which was compiled by Candie and Guy Carawan. 13 Du Bois, W. E. B. (1989/1903). The Souls of Black Folk. New York: Penguin Books, (pp. 213-214). 14 See Spike Lee’s 2006 documentary “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts” as a subaltern source of media representation to the crisis in New Orleans. New York: HBO. 166 I decide to use a version of this song that I recorded in 2002.15 The song served as more than just a metaphor as it became a spiritual guide to recall the experiences of the people through the places/spaces defined in the digital images. It is through the performativity of the music and lyric that this song began to reiterate tensions within the sites of power, race, and class. Lashua (2006b) suggests that soundscapes operate as interpretative windows into representational politics through voice and sound. “Soundscapes are stories partially told, yet they must additionally be heard” (pp. 406- 7).16 Much later in my process, as I continued to analyze my data, it became clear that the song, in fact, represented my ethnographic “voice.” Journal entry: 02/27/08: This is really hard. I keep on getting mixed-up in my process. What am I doing –back and forth? How to stay focused on what I am supposed to be writing about. i.e. the process instead I keep writing about the ethnography. I keep getting lost…where’s my voice? 15 Hunt, Pearl and David Sigmund (2002) “Been in the Storm So Long”. On Songs for the Unsung [CD], produced by David Sigmund, Vancouver, BC. 16 From: Atkinson, P., Delamont, S. & Housley, W. (Eds.), (2008). Contours of Culture. Plymouth, UK: Altamira Press (pp.197-198). 167 Positionality At a fundamental level you cannot escape who you are and therefore your data reflects your positionality. Madison (2005) notes, that “positionality is vital because it forces us to acknowledge our own power, privilege, and biases just as we are denouncing the power structures that surround our subjects” (2005, p. 7). As a musician and scholar, I have had the opportunity to travel extensively both within the academy and through cultural exchanges. Although I had previously been to the “deep south”, I had never been to New Orleans. Nevertheless, I had a wealth of quasi knowledge gleamed through the mysteries of James Lee Burke and films such as The Big Easy, and more recently Spike Lee’s documentary, When the Levee’s Broke. I am the first to admit that I have had an infatuation with New Orleans for many years: the romance of place, music, food, and the Creole people. New Orleans is a hybrid hot bed of culture and, more importantly, out of this hotbed sprang jazz! Of course, there is a tendency to eroticize such locales. On the other hand, it has been pointed out to me that the New Orleans of my dreams never existed. But, the people who experienced Katrina do exist and I was curious as to how their transition – their reconstruction was proceeding – or was New Orleans just another one of media’s “disposable disaster” – like a throw-away camera. I came to New Orleans from the stance of privilege. While many former residents of New Orleans remained homeless, I had food, shelter and money. I was, after all, a tourist in their town. But I was also a musician and it is through music that I encountered the field and rebuilt the story of this ethnography. 168 Rebuild: Conceptual Beginnings Rebuild is an appropriate term for reconstructing what you have found in the field and begins with the acknowledgement that the field itself is part of your own construction. Atkinson, (1992), suggests that “the field is produced (not discovered) through the social transactions engaged in by the ethnographer. The boundaries of the field are not ‘given’. They are the outcome of what the ethnographer may encompass in his or her gaze: and what the ethnographer omits and overlooks as much as what the ethnographer writes” (p. 5). A case in point of this constructed field was the commercial Hurricane Katrina tour conducted by Gray Line. Talk about commodification of disaster! Nevertheless, the tour was the most respectful and safest way to actually see what was being redeveloped and what wasn’t – even if the tour was totally constructed in terms of what we were allowed to see. Just as this tour was constructed, so, too, is my rendering of my jotted notes which I later turned into Evelyn’s story. “Seemingly straightforward, descriptive writing is fundamentally a process of representation and construction. Fieldnotes, like all descriptions, are selective, purposed, angled, voiced, because they are authored,” (Emerson et al., 1995, p. 106).17 Because representations of ‘other’ are always already produced, “ethnography is, in short, a productive site of doubt, filled with ‘messy texts’ fragmented writing styles and troubled notions of ethnographic authority of fieldwork” (Lather, 2001, p. 481). 17 From: Emerson, Fritz & Shaw (2001). Participant observation and fieldnotes. In Atkinson, et al. (Eds.), Handbook of ethnography (pp. 352-368). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 169 Unlike a more traditional ethnography that involves formal interviews, my fieldwork data was collected informally through conversations. Thomas (1993) suggests that informal data is a means of “uncovering the hidden order in everyday life” (p. 6). As I continued working with my informal data, conceptual ideas began to surface. For example, most ethnographies involve a lengthy stay in the field and extensive data collection. My fieldwork was a very short stay – representing more of a snap shot – a post card versus a lengthy documentary or textual account. I then began to work with the concept of postcards. The postcard Tourists continue to send post cards whereas letters have all but disappeared, being swallowed up by electronic mail, tweets, blogs and facebook. Upon receipt of a postcard, one can hardly decipher what the sender has said as the words/text are usually hurried, messy, crowded, hand written missives, resembling jotted field notes. People not only send post cards when on vacation but also keep them as mementos of their travels. “The consumption of place through travel and tourism is intimately related to the accumulation and circulation of material goods [such as post cards], making memories of geographical ‘others’ available to the everyday experiences of domestic spaces” (Atkinson et al., 2008, p. 131). Postcards are ambiguous, public, visual, textual, and refer to representations, especially representations of a journey. They are always already representations. 170 Jacque Derrida, (1987) in The Postcard, uncovers the possibility of postcard reproductions: “Look closely at this card. It is a reproduction,” (p. 9). “It begins with a destination without address,” (p. 29). “I am somewhat hung up on postcards: so modest, anonymous, offered,” (p. 47). “The possibility of the post is always - already there,” (p. 64). 18 Using postcards, I could represent myself as a tourist sending public missives of post Katrina in a multimedia space. I was starting to like this idea of postcards a lot! I began making multimedia postcards, arranging the coded digital images with the “rawness” of my jottings. By juxtaposing fieldnotes with digital images, I attempted to locate meaning in/between the two representations; the representation of structures, patterns and products on the one hand and struggles, stories and songs on the other. My intention with the postcards was to visually deconstruct “reconstruction” in the aftermath of Katrina as an attempt to “awaken us to the demands made by the other (Caputo, 1997, p. 15).19 Employing deconstruction is not a process of breaking constructs down but rather a way to open things up and expose multiple meanings. The idea of deconstructing post Katrina’s reconstruction was to offer multiple views /representations that in themselves are partial truths because they are derived from my point of view. The postcards became what I left out just as what I chose to recount. At the same time, I was continually renegotiating the terrain between not only the material world of the field and my constructed digital representation of people, music and infrastructure, but also from text based analysis to visual/ multimedia analysis. “Here textual experiments 18 Derrida, Jacques. (1987). The post card: From Socrates to Freud and beyond (Alan Bass, Trans.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 19 As quoted in Lather 2000, p. 218. are not so much about solving the crisis of representation as troubling the very claims to represent” (Lather, 2001, p. 481). Hi all: Well sex is alive and well in the revitalized French Quarter. Obviously the mayor has his priorities. Figure 7.2 A postcard Developing a postcard storyboard A storyboard is the preliminary mapping of a film or video project to sequence how you are going to frame your film. I used it as an ethnographic tool to further organize and categorize my data into my conceptual framework by sequencing the postcards in sync with the sound track of Been in the Storm So Long. As I ordered the data (postcards), 171 172 the multimedia story that emerged followed a relatively formal, chronological, structural narrative. In addition, the relationships between the material structures of dwellings (ecos) and the concept of home and community emerged as a definitive theme throughout the scope of analysis. Atkinson (2008) suggests “our homes are physical spaces that are sufficed with practical and expressive worth through which we simultaneously accomplished place, space and self” (p.124). The final stanza of Been in the Storm So Long articulates (expresses and joins together) the ways in which we can attribute meaning to the concept of home: Lord, please bring me home, Yes Lord, please bring me home Singing oh Lord, give me little time to pray Oh, I’ve been in the storm so long. Although as a spiritual metaphor “bring me home” suggests a calling to the afterlife, “bringing it all home” is also a musical term whereby the musicians return to the core melody before ending their song. So, in reclaiming this paper, I want to return to the ontological home of critical ethnography. Reclaim Because critical ethnography involves a resistance to ascribed hegemony it entails “Wildness” – a call to reject inhibitions imposed by assumed meanings to cultivate in their place the fiercely passionate and undomesticated side of our scholarly nature that challenges preconceived ideas (Thomas, 1993, p. 7). 173 Thomas (1993) states that the “ontology of critical thought includes a conception, albeit vague, that there is something better, and that the goal of knowledge should include working towards it” (p. 70). Critical ethnography is directly concerned with projects that reflect social justice issues. Having a specific stand point, critical ethnography believes in promoting a better, more equitable and just world (Denzin, 2003; Carspecken, 1996; Thomas, 1993; Simon, & Dippo, 1986). Thomas (1993) remarks: “… conventional ethnographies study culture for the purpose of describing it, whereas critical ethnographies do so to change it” (pp. 2– 3). My ethnographic work situates ethnography with/in double practices (Lather, 2000, p. 200), wrestling with the tensions of the critical social justice imperative to render the people/circumstances of post-Katrina visible against the post structural critiques of representation that trouble the very notion of “ethnographic authority.” My research questions are based in the material, experiential realm of human rights. For me, (and yes, one eventually has to go out on a limb and declare their position) a critical position requires a commitment to social justice and, if nothing else, an affirmation of participant witnessing within ethnographic practices. I believe we need witnesses in the field – even as the field is constructed and we cannot possibly represent but a partial truth. We need witnesses in the field to document man’s inhumanity to man and the consequential destruction of our ecosystems. David Suzuki (2008)20 writes of humans that “we’ve officially made our mark – we’re the most powerful force of change on the planet – so 20 We’ve officially made our mark. (2008, February 14). Vancouver Metro, p. 12. 174 much so that we get our own epoch.” Post-Katrina is an example of our mark gone afoul – the prevailing contamination of sixty percent of the New Orleans dwellings, (ecos). Thomas (1993) notes that although critical ethnography has its roots within critical Marxist discourse there are many critical ethnographers that are driven by a broader socialist or humanist ethos. For example, critical ethnographer Norman Denzin (2003) suggests that a “genuine democracy requires hope, dissent and criticism (p. 224). Like Denzin, I believe that “hope seeks the truth in life’s sufferings” and “gives meaning to the struggles to change the world” (2003, p. 229). Hope lives in the stories of those who gave me the implicit directive to tell all. They do not want to be forgotten; be yet another media disposable disaster. Though my role as cultural worker/researcher/tourist and educator is “full of stuck places and difficult issues of truth, interpretation, and responsibility,” it is most crucial to “let the story continue” as Britzman (2000) refers to the work of critical ethnographic representation.21 Working within an interdisciplinary cultural studies framework allowed me as a researcher to incorporate a variety of methodologies and methods into my ethnographic research design and processes. I have been influenced by the post structural work of Lather, and utilize deconstruction with/in multimedia representations,22 but I want to do away with any assumption that multimedia presentations are decidedly postmodern. I concur with Atkinson et al. (2008) when they suggest “the emergence of new kinds of qualitative and ethnographic insights resulting from integration of a number of different media – 21 From: Lather, P. (2000). Postbook: Working the ruins of feminist ethnography. Sign: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 27 (1). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 221. 22 As an artist working in the 1970’s, deconstruction was an act of representation. Derrida insists that deconstruction is not a discursive or theoretical affair, but a practico-political one. From: Caputo, John (Ed.). (1997). Deconstruction in a nutshell: a conversation with Jacques Derrida. New York: Fordham University Press. 175 including sound, visuals and written text are means which create more ‘open’ and ‘multi- voiced’ texts” (p. 213), yet the work of ethnography can still be grounded in modernist critical theory.23 Disseminate Thomas (1993) suggests that “all research is a communication enterprise, and our guiding principle would be one of finding ways to communicate what we feel is important in a language understandable to our audience” (p. 66). Because my work is so heavily influenced by populist designs, I wanted to create a “product” that would be widely accessible – not just for the academy. But, the academy was a good place to start and I presented my multimedia ethnography to several conference proceedings including an Interdisciplinary Symposium (2008) at Stanford University; Culture, consciousness and nature – a context for climate change24 at Simon Fraser University; and the Invited International Conference on Multiculturalism from which this paper is being published. One of the most remarkable aspects of disseminating the stories of post Katrina is that it continues to promote conversations on the role of critical pedagogy within movements of social change and, in particular, how music can be utilized to convey the story of a critical ethnography. Because each audience was deeply affected by the story of post Katrina was, in part, due to the emotional connections the audiences made with the music. Although, as an artist, I intuitively knew my song would work on physical/emotional parameters, how exactly music operates on these parameters and, 23 From: Atkinson, et al., (2008) Contours of culture: complex ethnography and the ethnography of complexity. Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira Press p. 213. 24 Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs Annual Conference, Simon Fraser University, October 16-18, 2008. 176 in particular, my choice of expressing myself as an ethnographer through song is much more difficult to articulate. Simon Firth (1996) suggests that the ‘story’ in music depends on rhetorical truth. “This is not a matter of representation or ‘imitation’ or ideology but draws rather on the African American tradition of ‘signifying’; it puts into play an emotional effect, a collusion between the performer and the audience which is engaged rather than detached, knowing rather than knowledgeable” (p. 117). This idea of knowing is also articulated by Frederick Douglass (1845/1994) who, in his autobiography succinctly describes the experiential nature of music: “I have sometimes thought that the mere hearing of those songs would do more to impress some minds with the horrible character of slavery, than the reading of whole volumes of philosophy on the subject would do” (p. 23–24). Because the belated response towards many of the people affected by Katrina (and the following tropical storm Rita which also compounded the recovery of the Gulf Coast) was embedded in the historical racist response of government agencies to African Americans, the sound of a “slave song” does affect the way the ethnography is perceived. One conference participant exclaimed that he expected to hear jazz (after all, it was New Orleans) and to hear the slave song for him was incredibly sad. It is sad! That is why Du Bois called these songs “Sorrow Songs” and ultimately, I wanted to convey the sadness I felt as I witnessed the governments of the United States of America abandon its citizens – abandon universal human rights. 177 Human rights scholar, Michael Ignatieff (1984) in his disturbing, yet poignant, The Needs of Strangers, suggests that “there is no identity we can recognize in our universality. There is no such thing as love of the human race…Woe betide any man who depends on the state for his food and protection. Woe betide any person who has no state, no family, no neighbourhood, no community that can stand behind him to enforce his claim of need” (p. 52-53). Yet, music seems to be a site where identity is recognized universality. Simon Firth suggests that this is because music, like identity is both “performance and story, describes the social in the individual and the individual in the social, the mind in the body and the body in the mind” (Firth, 1996, p. 109). It is through music that we can take on both a subjective and collective identity, which is the best one can hope for in retelling a story through the process of critical ethnography. Given the post structural complexities involved in the process of representation, music offers an alternative to a patronizing ethnographic authority. Music, as Firth explains, is the cultural form best able to both cross borders and to define places (1996, p. 125). It is music’s ability to cross borders, disciplinary boundaries and paradigms, along with geopolitical nation states that allows music to be reflective of cultural imperialism, and ultimately is a code and tactic for transformation. Music is not just an amusing aside to cultural theory but rather can be utilized as a crucial component of critical ethnography and by extension critical pedagogy, which has implications to furthering our understanding of multiculturalism. 178 In closing, I return to the ideas which I set forth in the beginning of this paper concerning the relationship among conversation, multiculturalism and peace education. Regardless of what form of social justice scholarship we tend to prescribe – whether it is multiculturalism or cosmopolitanism or antiracism, all advocate conversation and dialogue as a model for attaining social justice. Myles Horton, the founder of Highlander Research and Education Center, the first multicultural education center in the American South, reminds us that “you don’t have to know the answers…you raise the questions…sharpen the questions…get people to discuss them. 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Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave, written by himself, 1845. New York: The Library of America. Du Bois W.E.B. (1903). The souls of black folk. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co. Emerson, R., Fretz R., & Shaw, L. (Eds.). (1995). Writing ethnographic fieldnotes. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Firth S. (1996). Music and identity. In Stuart Hall & Paul du Gay (Eds.), Cultural identity (pp. 108-127). Thousand Oaks: Sage. Foster, T. (2005) The Souls of Cyberfolk: Posthumanism as Vernacular Theory. [Electronic Mediations Series 13.] Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. (Myra Bergman-Ramos, Trans.). New York: Herder and Herder. Hammersley, M., & Atkinson, P. (Eds.). (2007). Ethnography: Principles in practice. England: Routledge. House of the Rising Sun (Trad.song). [Live recording by U2 and Greenday at the Superdome, September 25, 2006]. New Orleans: Rhapsody Music. Hunt, L.A. Pearl. (2002). Songs for the unsung [CD]. Vancouver, BC: David Sigmund, Production. Hunt, L.A. Pearl. (2007). Losing my western baggage: An autobiographical case for relocating human rights within cultural studies discourse. Journal of Contemporary Issues in Education 2 (2), 38-52. Hunt, L. A. Pearl (2009). Pianos for Peace: A Conversation. In Elavie Ndura-Ouédraogo and Randall Amster (Eds.), Building cultures of peace: Transdisciplinary voices of hope and action. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Ignatieff, M. (1984). The needs of strangers. London: Hogarth Press. Lather, P. (1986) Research as Praxis. Harvard Educational Review, v56 n3 p257-77 Lather, P. (2000) “Postbook: Working the ruins of feminist ethnography.” Sign: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 27(1), 199-227. 181 Lather, P. (2001). Postmodernism, Post-structuralism and Post (Critical) Ethnography: of Ruins, Aporias and Angels in Handbook of Ethnography edited by Paul Atkinson et al. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage (477-492). Lather, P. (2007). Getting Lost: feminist efforts toward a doubled(d) science. Albany: State University of New York Press. Lee, Spike (Director and Producer). (2006).When the levees broke: A requiem in four acts [documentary film]. New York, NY: HBO. LeCompte, M. & Schensul, J. (1999). Analyzing & interpreting ethnographic data. London: Altamira Press, Sage Publications. Loizos, P. (2000). Video, film and photographs as research documents. Bauer, M. & Gaskell, G. Qualitative researching with text, image and sound: A practical handbook (pp. 93-107). Thousand Oaks, Calf: Sage Publications. Madison, D. Soyini. (2005). Critical ethnography: method, ethics, and performance. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. McBride, J. (Director). (1986). The big easy [motion picture]. United States: Columbia Pictures. Mealer, B. (2006). Exodus. Esquire. New York, NY: Hearst Communications Inc. Jan. vol.145/no.1 (24-131). O’ Sullivan, E. (1999). Dimensions of power: Education for peace, social justice and diversity. Transformative learning: Educational vision for the 21st century, (pp.134-176). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Reardon, B. (1988). Comprehensive peace education: Educating for global responsibility. New York: Teachers College Press. Shelley, M. (1963). Frankenstein. New York: Signet Books. (Original work published in 1816) Simon, R. I., & Dippo, D. (1986). On critical ethnographic work. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 17, 195-202. Suzuki, D. We’ve officially made our mark. (2008, February 14). Vancouver Metro, p. 12. Thomas, J. (1993). Doing critical ethnography. Qualitative Research Methods Series 26. London: Sage. Van Loon, J. (2001). Ethnography: A critical turn in cultural studies. In Paul Atkinson et al. (Eds.), Handbook of ethnography, (pp. 273-284). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Willis, P. (2000). Ethnographic imagination. Malden, MA: Polity Press. 182 8. CONCLUDING REMARKS: MUSIC AS KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION IN THE PROJECT OF CULTURAL STUDIES AND DISCOURSE FOR PEACE In November 2009, Eleanor Stebner, the J. S. Woodsworth Chair in Humanities at Simon Fraser University, invited me to participate in the Joanne Brown Symposium: Peace and Social Change – Pondering the Texts and Ideas of Select Nobel Peace Laureates.1 The purpose of this symposium was to gather together an interdisciplinary group of individuals to discuss several of the significant texts written by select Nobel Peace laureates. Because of my interest and background working in African ways of knowing, Ms. Stebner asked specifically for me to review Desmond Tutu’s (1983) Hope and Suffering – a collection of Tutu’s essays and sermons that aimed to bring about a changed moral order which transcended and yet upheld the anticipated political change to end apartheid. The essays and sermons provide the framework for Tutu’s final chapter, “Divine Intention”, which was his formal response as General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) to the Eloff Commission.2 Tutu unabashedly puts forward his opinion of the commission: This Commission, with respect, is totally superfluous…they are trying to defend the utterly indefensible and will fail completely, for it is ranging itself on the side of evil, injustice and oppression…and will ultimately end up as the flotsam and jetsam of history (p. 157-158)….When I see injustice I cannot keep quiet. I will 1 The symposium was organized by Eleanor J. Stebner, J. S. Woodsworth Chair in the Humanities (http://www.sfu.ca/humanities-old/Stebner%20-%20website/home.htm), and the Institute for the Humanities (http://www.sfu.ca/humanities-institute) at Simon Fraser University. 2 The government of South Africa established an all white male Commission of Enquiry into the SACC under the chair of Justice C. F. Eloff in 1981 to find enough evidence to declare the SACC an “affected” organization, (i.e. allegations of unchristian activities). This would cut off its international financial support and place Government sponsored persons into the finance department of the Council. 183 not keep quiet…The most awful thing that they can do is to kill me, and death is not the worst thing that could happen to a Christian (p. 187). The Commission, aimed at harming the SACC and curtailing much of its activities, in fact, vindicated the Council and its theological basis in its conclusions. This is in part due to the enormous support for Bishop Tutu and the South African Council of Churches from the international community, including Tutu’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Needless to say, as with the Nobel Peace prize itself, some of the texts (and laureates) have been – and remain – quite controversial. In fact, all the laureates seemed to share a great deal of opposition to being named recipients of the prize. (I note this controversy as it also hounds the current recipient, President Obama. He is obviously in good company.) All the texts that we discussed are representative of the controversy surrounding the individual laureates. For example, Democracy and Social Ethics, by Jane Addams (1902) argued that democracy needed to be social and not simply political; it needed to be based on a social ethic of sympathetic knowledge and, therefore, address everything from poverty to peace. Addams, a social pacifist who opposed U.S. intervention into World War I, was criticized for being unpatriotic and, indeed, shunned for much of her life. After being nominated 91 times from 1916 onward, Addams was finally named a co-recipient of the 1931 Nobel Peace prize. Another example is I, Rigoberta Menchu, (1983) which told her life story – and that of other indigenous peoples – bringing media attention to the human rights abuses in Guatemala. Numerous facts about Rigoberta’s story were later disputed. Menchu, in 184 response, questioned the empirical based inquiry of western based knowledge, insisting that “witnessing” was a valid form of narrative and indeed, better represented her culture. In referencing the ideas of this symposium, I want to draw attention to the work of peace education as an often disparaged and neglected part of knowledge production and cultural consumption. The Nobel Peace Prize is arguably one of the most prestigious awards of the twentieth century.3 Yet, while many of Nobel Peace laureates are well known today, many are not remembered. Furthermore, scholars or individuals concerned about peace and social change often do not seriously ponder some of the ideas of these individuals although all of the texts we discussed have been amazingly powerful in creating public awareness of certain ideas and, in some cases, such as that of Desmond Tutu, have facilitated movements of social change. Another example, Memoir of Solferino by Henri Dunant (1862), is a bloody account of Dunant’s experience at the 1859 Battle of Solferino. In part, his book led to the formation of the Geneva Conventions and the establishment of the Red Cross. Although Dunant’s text was important to the emerging idea of humanitarianism, Dunant spent his later years nearly homeless and penniless. This is an irony worth mentioning because Dunant’s life represents, in general, the treatment of those who commit themselves to the project of peace. In producing this thesis on the relationship of music within peace education as a means of creating knowledge to advance notions of peace, I am not developing a theory that 3 Information regarding the Nobel Peace Prize can be found at http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/. 185 will break ground. I am, more to the point, relentless in advancing ideas of peace, not new, but ideas that need to persist, need to keep struggling to the surface of theoretical discourse if we are to have any effect against the violence within our world. It is important to find ways of developing an agenda for peace, developing ways to negotiate the differences we have, to develop ways for the academy, as Giroux (1992) states, “to move away from simply a language of critique and redefine itself as part of a language of transformation and hope” (p. 82). To do this Giroux suggests that cultural workers need to rewrite democracy so “that diverse identities and cultures can intersect as sites of creative cultural production” (p. 248). This thesis proposes that music, as a site of cultural production, allows diverse identities and cultures to intersect as sites of creative cultural production to advance social justice, critical pedagogy and peace education. Cultural Studies as a Framework for Social Justice In developing these concluding remarks and relating the thesis chapters to each other and the overall field of study, I have drawn on a cultural studies framework to explore ways in which music and social justice on the one hand, and my own work on the other, can combine to inform my practice as a scholar, educator and performing activist. In advancing the discourse of music within cultural studies, education and peace studies, the dissertation aims to affect policy development either through curriculum or direct action. Using cultural studies as a framework to explore the relationship between music and knowledge production is a major strength in research writing because it allows one to 186 draw on multiple theoretical discourses, creating transdisciplinary dialogues between and among many voices. In the first essay, “Making Music to Promote Pedagogy of Hope: a conversation,” I utilize a cultural studies framework to bring together a diverse set of learning theories, neuroscience and music-as-form-for action into a cogent piece that promotes the ideas of transformation and hope. The next essay “Losing and Finding My Western Baggage” again uses cultural studies as a framework for examining nonwestern, specifically African, ways of knowing and how the move away from Eurocentric knowledge production can benefit our understanding of music’s capacity to affirm social change. The third essay, “Working through Difference” focuses on cultural studies as a means of interrogating difference by positioning Black music as a contested site within the discourse of difference. Here, it seems clear that when it comes to analyzing difference there is very little agreement. However, music appears to be one site whereby we can successfully negotiate differences within unity versus against unity. “Striking Accord for Women,” brings a cultural studies viewpoint to feminist fragmentation through a musical exploration of African American women who have contributed to the struggle for civil and human rights. The essay combines music as praxis involved work and my practice of demonstrating music as culture- in- action. “Sounding Off” will undoubtedly create the most controversy because I am suggesting that music itself can be articulated not only as a means of knowledge production but also as a method of conducting research. By suggesting that praxis based research follows similar principles as praxis based cultural studies work, I draw on a wide variety of theories relative to music and sound to advance the practices of both participatory and critical ethnographic research discourses. In keeping with the radical historical 187 background of cultural studies, I am suggesting a radical version of investigation. Here, I suggest that music is not only a medium and a message but also the very method of inquiry. The final essay, “Representing Voice”, actualizes music within methodological discourse and brings practical closure to the manuscript by demonstrating how theories of critical pedagogy combine with critical research practices to influence peace education. In particular, post Katrina is a blatant reminder of how sustainability needs to move from an anthrocentric, past biocentric, to ecocentric view of peace education. It has occurred to me that my theoretical progression, from viewing music and social change to music is social chang, has moved my inquiry from a social historical oral narrative to a praxis based inquiry, positioning music as an active component of social change rather than merely recording social change. Although both are significant, the revelation of how music produces knowledge within its own right can make a theoretical and practical difference to music’s place within critical discourse. To seriously consider music as a critical factor in shaping our identities, and by extension differences, may lead us to better means of negotiating the problematics of fragmentation. Although much ground has been gained through deconstruction of essentialist notions between and among race, gender and class, the prevailing modernist and post modernist Eurocentric theoretical systems are not inclusive of all cultures. Like Stuart Hall, who battled with Marxist concepts because he questioned “the theory for the model around which it is articulated: its Eurocentrism” (Hall, 1992, pp. 278-280), I, too, battle with the Eurocentric hegemonies of enlightenment based discourse – not to 188 exclude the discourse, but to suggest, quite strongly, there must also be a critique of modern/post modern discourse and to point out its weaknesses. For example, post- colonial discourse challenges how important centers of power construct themselves through discourses of master narratives such as enlightenment based theories which have become, for some, totalizing systems. Giroux (1992) suggests, these enlightenment narratives “contest monolithic authority wielded through representations of ‘brute institutional relations’ and claims of universality” (p. 20). The irony, of course, is that post modernism claims to do away with notions of the master narrative and universality while at the same time trying to impose its constructs universally! Of significance to human rights and peace education is that these enlightenment based discourses “actively construct colonial relations or are implicated in their construction” (Giroux, 1992, p. 22). It is the role of the peace educator to point out where we need to look carefully at how our theoretical discourse actually perpetuates hegemonic practices. Therefore, it is crucial that we address other ways of knowing in addition to the academy’s Eurocentric knowledge base. Digital representations I also point to a lack of critical digital theory as a perceived weakness in this dissertation because I do, in fact, utilize digital representation within my critical ethnography (Chapter 7). Music, though, does not need the digital world to be produced. In fact, as Chapter 2 states, we now have empirical evidence to suggest that music (song) in the human evolutionary process predated language. Darwin believed that music, as we 189 know it, is a kind of fossil – a remnant of an earlier communication system or “musical protolanguage.” 4 Although music’s surge into the digital and virtual worlds is of value in critical discourse, music is much more than digital codes. My focus has been on the performative quality of music and how music can be a process for articulating and negotiating differences rather than the means in which music is produced, consumed and commodified. Although multimedia (sound, text and image) representations are increasingly becoming the domain of critical digital theories, those theories, as Marcel O’Gorman (2006) suggests, are still largely concerned with the representations of our visual culture/space and further investigation is needed into how music’s digital representations can influence the discourse of critical digital theory. The early works of Schafer, McLuhan, and Cage still tend to be some of our best sources of theorizing both music and sound and I have noticed a resurgence of interest in their work from on-line journals such Media Tropes, (http://www.mediatropes.com/index.php/Mediatropes). Cavell (2002) in his cultural geographic critique of McLuhan’s ideas of space also details the work of Schafer and Cage in theorizing how language and music intersect: “Must language and music be mutually exclusive?” Shaffer asks in When Words Sing …“or can they be held together in an equipoise that satisfies all the requirements of each?” (1970, p. 26). I draw on this quote because to write of music, its effect, its power, is not to hear music, so there is always already a weakness in the articulation of 4 Levitin 2008, p. 260. 190 any theory of music’s capacity for social change because, among its many qualities, music is primarily experiential, and any textual discourse will be incomplete. The academy A weakness granted in any academic work is that the academic audience is a relatively small, elite group of people. At the University of British Columbia, the faculty of Education still privileges those who are white and male, though significant gains have been made by white females. Persons of colour are hardly represented. The same applies to the majority of conferences I have attended, though again, some attempts have been made to create a more diverse and representative body of scholars. Being white and female, I feel at times that my contributions then becomes more of the same ideology of privilege. My work as an artist and educator tries to reconcile this privilege by making the work accessible to a broad audience. One of my favourite memories of academia occurred during my conference presentation at Memphis in 2007 (Chapter 5). The room we had been assigned for the break-out sessions was right beside the dining room and the kitchen was behind the wall nearest the podium. During the morning sessions, as the kitchen staff (all persons of colour) prepared our lunch, there was a great deal of dish rattling and food preparation commotion. However, as soon as I began to sing my blues tribute to Memphis Minnie (accompanied by myself on my Gibson guitar), the kitchen became completely quiet and the staff gathered near the partition doorway to the conference room to listen to the music. I mention this anecdote because it serves the paradox of academia – that where we theorize tends to wall off 191 the very people to whom we want to reach. Consequently, the attention from the kitchen staff meant more to me that any academic critique that followed, simply because I knew that my music moved them. As an academic writer, instant gratification is seldom experienced. However, occasionally someone will read an article and take the time and trouble to respond. For example, I was absolutely thrilled when Keyan Tomaselli, editor of Critical Arts – a Journal for South-North Cultural and Media Studies,5 sent me an email describing my article “Losing My Western Baggage”, (chapter 3) as “a great read”. Because of his positive response I plan to send the journal a future article that is relevant to the south- north dialogic. In addition, I would like to pursue postdoctoral work in African cultural studies in order to encourage better practices in the northern responses to southern social justice issues and explore how music can play a role in shaping this dialogue. Future Research Some of the most fascinating research on music is being conducted through neuroscience, with the emergence of a new paradigm exploring the affects/effects of music on the brain. George Papadelis, (2006)6 writing of this emerging field notes: 5 Critical Arts has an international editorial board (e.g. Stuart Hall, Larry Grossberg, Handel Kashope Wright, Hopeton Dunn, Paddy Scannell, Brenda Dervin, John Hartley, Abebe Zegeye, David Wiley), an international authorship (e.g. Tom O'Regan, Ken Harrow, Francis Nyamnjoh, Ntongela Masilela and David Coplan) and an international institutional subscription list. Critical Arts has been publishing since 1980. Critical Arts prefers analyses which interrogate essentialist ideas rather than simply assuming them. 6 From: Music and neuroscience: a multidisciplinary approach to the neurobiological substrates of music related behavior. Annals of General Psychiatry 2006, 5 (Suppl 1):S1doi:10.1186/1744-859X-5-S1-S1 Downloaded from http://www.annals-general-psychiatry.com/content/5/S1/S1 192 Two decades ago, the idea to focus on music-related aspects of behavior as a methodological tool to study the neural correlates of human complex cognitive functions was a rather uncommon practice within neuroscience. Nowadays, a rapidly evolving field has been formed under the general name "The Neuroscience of Music" as an attempt to develop a whole new approach to the study of musical abilities, which would enrich the traditional music-theoretic ones. Besides that, and due to the fact that music-related behavior encompasses many different functions of human cognition, it was recently proven to be a valuable window for neuroscientists onto complex brain functions (Papadelis, 2006, intr.). In Canada, the work of Daniel J. Levitin, the James McGill Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Music at McGill University, where he runs the Laboratory for the Study of Music, Perception, Cognition and Expertise is representative of music’s relationship with behavior. Levitin notes that “emerging studies seem to point to what the ancient shamans already knew: music – and particularly joyful music – affects our health in fundamental ways” (Levitin, 2008, p. 98).7 Although Levitin’s central research question of “why music moves us” is explored through a positivist paradigm in the fields of neuroscience and evolutionary psychology, his work is never-the-less useful for the development of a cultural theory that encompasses the evolutionary roots of human behaviors. Using neuroscience as a path to explain music’s power within an evolutionary framework Levitin remarks, 7 Neuroscientists have recently found that playing music can modulate levels of dopamine, the so called feel good hormone in the brain. What we know for certain is that increases in dopamine lead to elevated mood and help boost the immune system, (Levitin, 2008,p. 86). 193 “evolution may have selected those individuals who could settle disputes in nonviolent ways such as music-dance,” (p. 53). Given music’s primordial responses within the body and music’s seemingly apparent capacity for negotiation, there is much that both cultural studies and critical pedagogy can gain from crossing the disciplinary boundaries that are usually separated by rigid paradigms. For my purposes, using these recent empirical findings in neuroscience and cognition reinforces music’s place within any critical discourse for pedagogy that promotes peace. Even if I play a very minor role, my work is contributing to the current discourse within the field of peace education through publications such as Building Cultures of Peace: Transdisciplinary Voices of Hope and Action (2009)8 edited by Elavie Ndura-Ouédraogo and Randall Amster which has revived the work of peace education through a trans disciplinary analysis that is both transformative and hopeful: “Building Cultures of Peace is an immensely rich, creative, and, above all, an optimistic book. The fifteen very competent chapters approach the issue of a culture of peace based on social justice and equity, as opposed to the ubiquitous culture of violence. Here are concrete programs and ideas; now let us all go out, do it, and get ever higher in the knowledge, skills and art of building peace” (Johan Galtung, Founder, TRANSCEND. http://www.transcend.org/ ) 8 My chapter in the book entitled “Pianos for Peace” is a shortened version of Chapter 2 of this dissertation “Making Music to Promote a Pedagogy of Hope.” 194 “….this book demonstrates that there is a ‘field’ of peace that is there to help people in all walks of life to understand and indeed contribute their bit, whatever it may be, to peace. There could hardly be a more needed development, and this book, with its diversity and yet its overriding focus on the elusive dream of peace, is a great contribution to it. I would like to see it in every school library — and in the mind and heart of every child” (Michael N. Nagler, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley; author of The Search for a Nonviolent Future.)9 Further to the publication of this book, the editor, Elavie Ndura-Ouédraogo, has put together a panel of the contributors, including myself, to present our ideas at the forthcoming (2010) annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, "Understanding Complex Ecologies in a Changing World". Of Building Culture of Peace, she writes: The significance of the project rests in its inclusiveness and broad appeal, highlighting the need for a discourse of peace, peace education, and peacebuilding that expands beyond the “expert” vision. It stresses that education must empower teachers and students in all subject areas to challenge hegemony, affirm diversity, and seek equity and social justice in order to constructively and peacefully resolve issues of structural injustice and help to create long-term harmonious relationships among individuals and nations alike.10 9 From Cambridge Scholars Publishing Website: http://www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/Building-Cultures-of-Peace– Transdisciplinary-Voices-of-Hope-and-Action1-4438-1329-X.htm downloaded December 9, 2009. 10 From conference proposal submitted by Elavie Ndura‐Ouedraogo to the American Educational Research Association [AERA] 2010 Annual Conference. 195 Another project which has had a powerful reaction from audiences has been Recall, rebuild, reclaim: Postcards from Post Katrina, the multimedia critical ethnography which I have presented both locally and internationally (Chapter 7). The visual images do have an enormous impact but it is the music - a traditional call and response song – which, by echoing the mood of the visuals and text, solicits the emotional response of the audience. As Litsitz (1989) notes: “Constant repetition of familiar forms like call and response encourages a close relationship between artists and audiences in a collaborative cultural creation” (p. 112). This idea of collaboration is also a major component of developing a dissertation and I conclude these remarks with my deepest gratitude for all the collaborative support I have received towards the development of this project. In particular, I want to thank my supervisor, Professor Handel Wright, Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies, and the Director of the Centre for Culture, Identity and Education at the University of British Columbia; my committee members, Professor Mary Bryson, Director, Center for Cross- Faculty Inquiry in Education at the University of British Columbia; and Budd Hall, Director, Office of Community Based Research at the University of Victoria. I also extend my thanks to my colleagues at Simon Fraser University, and my family. All of you have made this work possible. 196 References Addams, J. (1902) Democracy and social ethics. New York: The Macmillan Company. Amster, R & Ndura-Ouédraogo, E. (Eds.). (2009). Building Cultures of Peace: Transdisciplinary Voices of Hope and Action. Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Cambridge Scholars Publishing Website: http://www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/Building-Cultures-of- Peace–Transdisciplinary-Voices-of-Hope-and-Action1-4438-1329-X.htm downloaded December 9, 2009. Cavell, R. (2002). McLuhan in space: A cultural geography. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Dunant, H. (1986/1862). Memoir of Solferino. Geneva: International Red Cross Committee. Giroux, H. (1992). Border crossings: Cultural workers and the politics of education. New York: Routledge. Hall, S. (1992). Cultural studies and its theoretical legacies. In Cary Nelson, Paula Treichler & Lawrence Grossberg (Eds.) Cultural studies. New York: Routledge. Levitin, D. (2008). The world in six songs: How the musical brain created human nature. New York: Dutton. Lipsitz, G. (1989) Time passages: Collective memory and American popular culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Media Tropes (2010) ISSN 1913- 6005. http://www.mediatropes.com/index.php/Mediatropes/issue/archive Menchu, R. (1984). I, Rigoberta Menchu: an Indian woman in Guatemala. Edited and introduced by Elisabeth Burgos-Debray; translated by Ann Wright. London: Verso. Ndura-Ouedraogo, E. (2010).From AERA 2010 proposal: Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Building Cultures of Peace. Denver, CO: May 1, 2010. O’Gorman, M. (2006). E-crit: Digital media, critical theory and the humanities. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Papadelis, G. (2006) Music and neuroscience: a multidisciplinary approach to the neurobiological substrates of music related behavior. Annals of General Psychiatry 5 (1): S1doi:10.1186/1744-859X-5-S1-S1 Schafer, R. M. (1970). When Words Sing. Scarborough, ON: Berandol Music. TRANSCEND International: A network for peace and development: http://www.transcend.org/ Tutu, D. (1983). Hope and Suffering. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1984, c1983.
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Music lessons : a cultural studies analysis of music's capacity for critical pedagogy and methodology Hunt, L. A. Pearl 2010
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