Keep It Funky: Black Geographies and the Politics of Musical Authenticity

Keep It Funky: Black Geographies and the Politics of Musical Authenticity

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Date and Time

  • Thursday, October 25, 2012 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.


University Center Exhibit Hall

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




This presentation will address the politics of sound, space and black identity during the late 1960s and early 1970s. In this period, black popular music registered the heightened tensions around black political process and its place-based dimensions and transitions. A musical geography of the era animates broader questions surrounding political practice, social change and the varied efforts for black self-recognition. As case studies, the contrasting musical output and aesthetics of two prominent recording labels of the period, Stax (Memphis) and Motown (Detroit), will be enlisted to demonstrate the contested stakes around the elusive search for the perceived roots, routes and locales of the black authentic.

Michael Hanson (PhD, UC Berkeley) is a visiting professor in the Ethnic Studies department at USD. His research examines race and popular culture, broadly, with a particular emphasis on the black cultural politics of music, sport and expressive culture in the post-Civil Rights period. He is currently completing a book, Soulsonic Forces: Musical Cartographies of Black Liberation, that examines significance of black popular music as an arena of struggle and mediation around social change and African American politics during the late 1960s and 1970s.

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