Events Calendar

19 Nov
The Subaltern Can Swing: Tracing the Haitian Revolution’s Afterlives in New Orleans Jazz
Event Type

Lectures, Symposia, Etc., Virtual

Topic

Humanities

Target Audience

Undergraduate Students, Faculty, Graduate Students

Tags

humanities, Humanities Center, humanities colloquium

Website

http://humcenter.pitt.edu

University Unit
Humanities Center
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The Subaltern Can Swing: Tracing the Haitian Revolution’s Afterlives in New Orleans Jazz

This is a past event.

The Humanities Center welcomes Benjamin Barson (Music). Benjamin's respondents will be Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar (University of Connecticut) and Robin D.G. Kelley (University of California, Los Angeles).

Recent historians of the Atlantic revolutions, unlike their predecessors, now give ample space to Haiti’s revolution in their analyses. Some have argued that it played a key role in the history of democracy, or the Radical Enlightenment, or the making of modernity. It is, quite simply, impossible to ignore Haiti’s influence in contemporary accounts of the nineteenth-century Caribbean and North American world. It seems ironic that this wave of scholarship centering Haiti’s contribution to the meaning of Atlantic liberation seems to have bypassed writers on that musical form which has been so often linked to the construction of a particularly modern and New World notion of freedom: jazz. In the overwhelming majority of jazz literature, the importation of enslaved Senegambian in the early-mid 18th century is often the point of departure to explain Congo Square’s dynamism as an Afrodiasporic entrepôt. But Haitian/Saint-Dominguan migrants, fleeing either the Haitian Revolution or Napoleon’s brutal counterinsurgency, doubled the population of New Orleans in the first decade of the 19th century. These refugees included, in roughly equal proportions, white, free people of color, and enslaved populations. This paper will explore the influence of Afro-Haitian musical and political cultures on the musicians who contributed to the emergence of jazz, discussing both specific figures (Daniel and Mamie Desdunes, Alice Zeno, Lizzie Miles) and the larger social movements within which they were embedded. By unpacking these histories of revolution, migration, and social change, I hope to outline ways we can understand the music of Afro-Louisianans as an articulation of a “counter-plantation” tradition, a struggle shared with Haitians and Afrodiasporians across the Caribbean.

You can access the precirculated material here

Thursday, November 19 at 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Virtual Event

The Subaltern Can Swing: Tracing the Haitian Revolution’s Afterlives in New Orleans Jazz

The Humanities Center welcomes Benjamin Barson (Music). Benjamin's respondents will be Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar (University of Connecticut) and Robin D.G. Kelley (University of California, Los Angeles).

Recent historians of the Atlantic revolutions, unlike their predecessors, now give ample space to Haiti’s revolution in their analyses. Some have argued that it played a key role in the history of democracy, or the Radical Enlightenment, or the making of modernity. It is, quite simply, impossible to ignore Haiti’s influence in contemporary accounts of the nineteenth-century Caribbean and North American world. It seems ironic that this wave of scholarship centering Haiti’s contribution to the meaning of Atlantic liberation seems to have bypassed writers on that musical form which has been so often linked to the construction of a particularly modern and New World notion of freedom: jazz. In the overwhelming majority of jazz literature, the importation of enslaved Senegambian in the early-mid 18th century is often the point of departure to explain Congo Square’s dynamism as an Afrodiasporic entrepôt. But Haitian/Saint-Dominguan migrants, fleeing either the Haitian Revolution or Napoleon’s brutal counterinsurgency, doubled the population of New Orleans in the first decade of the 19th century. These refugees included, in roughly equal proportions, white, free people of color, and enslaved populations. This paper will explore the influence of Afro-Haitian musical and political cultures on the musicians who contributed to the emergence of jazz, discussing both specific figures (Daniel and Mamie Desdunes, Alice Zeno, Lizzie Miles) and the larger social movements within which they were embedded. By unpacking these histories of revolution, migration, and social change, I hope to outline ways we can understand the music of Afro-Louisianans as an articulation of a “counter-plantation” tradition, a struggle shared with Haitians and Afrodiasporians across the Caribbean.

You can access the precirculated material here

Thursday, November 19 at 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Virtual Event

Topic

Humanities

University Unit
Humanities Center

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