On Site, In Sound

Performance Geographies in América Latina

Book Pages: 256 Illustrations: 15 illustrations Published: February 2018

Author: Kirstie A. Dorr

Latin American Studies, Music > Ethnomusicology, Sound Studies

In On Site, In Sound Kirstie A. Dorr examines the spatiality of sound and the ways in which the sonic is bound up in perceptions and constructions of geographic space. Focusing on the hemispheric circulation of South American musical cultures, Dorr shows how sonic production and spatial formation are mutually constitutive, thereby pointing to how people can use music and sound to challenge and transform dominant conceptions and configurations of place. Whether tracing how the evolution of the Peruvian folk song "El Condor Pasa" redefined the boundaries between national/international and rural/urban, or how a pan-Latin American performance center in San Francisco provided a venue through which to challenge gentrification, Dorr highlights how South American musicians and activists created new and alternative networks of cultural exchange and geopolitical belonging throughout the hemisphere. In linking geography with musical sound, Dorr demonstrates that place is more than the location where sound is produced and circulated; it is a constructed and contested domain through which social actors exert political influence.


"Dorr’s intricately interwoven case studies offer important methodological and substantive insights for the study of Latin American music." — Nancy Sue Love, Ethnic and Racial Studies

"On Site, In Sound is a rare and invaluable book that brings into critical colloquy the fields of ethnomusicology, critical geography, ethnic studies, performance studies, and gender studies. . . . The book is a great read of undoubtedly great use for scholars in the aforementioned fields of study, or to any student who wants to learn about the spatially transformative powers of sound and music, or more about Peruvian culture in general, although a degree of familiarity with either Latin American cultural studies or critical geography is recommended." — Nathan Siu-Fung Cheung, Antipode

"Dorr explodes the discussion of sound’s emplacement across epochs and musical genres." — Anthony W. Rasmussen, Sound Studies

"Dorr aims to make critical interventions into a number of cutting-edge academic discussions regarding race, gender, sexuality, nation, and diaspora. She does so with a remarkable cogency that demands and rewards multiple re-readings. ... When she [...] describe[s] the vocal sounds of Sumac, Wendy Sulca, Susana Baca, and others, she does so beautifully, and turns her readers into more deeply attuned listeners." — John Gennari, The Americas

"Dorr offers a profoundly compelling and layered analysis of this musical phenomena, and the narratives of space and power that operate beneath the act of artistic identification. ... Built from a solid theoretical framework and with creative uses of the archive, On Site, In Sound is an excellent contribution that will be helpful to Latin Americanists who work on performance studies, sound studies, cultural studies, and the intersections of space, ethnicity, and gender." — Juan Suárez Ontaneda, The Latin Americanist

“Boldly investigating the post-1960 rise of political and social economies of South American music that anticipated and responded to the past, present, and future of colonial discipline, Kirstie A. Dorr works with populations that are too often left out of the narratives of hemispheric cultural activism. Dorr's interventions are necessary and provocative, making On Site, In Sound a crucial and vivifying touchstone for the future horizon of U.S. Latina/o studies.” — Alexandra T. Vazquez, author of Listening in Detail: Performances of Cuban Music

“For Kirstie A. Dorr, geography is never a stable site or a fixed idea that merely marks the imagined place of musical production and circulation. Dorr's nuanced engagement between musical sound and geography shows geography to be the site and sound of the transnational and transgenerational. A rare work in Latina/o studies that concentrates on Andean and Afroperuvian music, On Site, In Sound is a unique sonic force that contributes critical questions pertaining to blackness and Latinidad in the field of Latina/o studies as well as a critical signpost for reimagining sound studies through sexuality, race, and gender.” — Deborah R. Vargas, author of Dissonant Divas in Chicana Music: The Limits of La Onda


Availability: In stock
Price: $25.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Kirstie A. Dorr is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  vii
Introduction. Thinking Site in Sound  1
1. Sounding Place Over Time: On the Sonic Transits of "El Cóndor Pasa"  25
2. Putumayo and Its Discontents: The Andean Music Industry as a World Music Geography  64
3. (Inter)national Stages, Mujeres Bravas, and the Spatial Politics of Diaspora  95
4. "You Can't Have a Revolution without Songs: Neighborhood Soundscapes and Multiscalar Activism in La Misión  145
Epilogue. Musical Pirates, Sonic Debts, and Future Geographies of Transit  175
Notes  189
Bibliography  217
Index  236
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6867-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6855-7
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