Cumbia is a musical form that originated in northern Colombia and then spread throughout Latin America and wherever Latin Americans travel and settle. It has become one of the most popular musical genres in the Americas. Its popularity is largely due to its stylistic flexibility as it absorbs and mixes with the local musical styles it encounters. Known for its appeal to workers, the music takes on different styles and meanings from place to place, and even, as the contributors to this collection show, from person to person. Cumbia is a different music among the working classes of northern Mexico, Latin American immigrants in New York City, Andean migrants to Lima, and upper-class Colombians, who now see the music that they once disdained as a source of national prestige. The contributors to this collection look at particular manifestations of cumbia through their disciplinary lenses of musicology, sociology, history, anthropology, linguistics, and literary criticism. Taken together, their essays highlight how intersecting forms of identity – such as nation, region, class, race, ethnicity, and gender – are negotiated through interaction with the music. Héctor Fernández L'Hoeste is Professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Director of the Center for Latin American and Latino/a Studies at Georgia State University. He is coeditor, with Deborah Pacini Hernandez, and Eric Zolov, of Rockin' Las Américas: The Global Politics of Rock in Latin/o America. This program is held in conjunction with the American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music exhibition. Admission for all lectures is $5 members, $10 nonmembers, and free to AHC Insiders unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required, please call 404.814.4150 or reserve tickets online at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Lectures.
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