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Jann C. Pasler
Regents of the University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, CA 92093-0013)
Music, Race, and Colonialism in France, 1880-1920

This is the first book on how music can shape colonial attitudes and empower colonial processes. It places in dialogue French preoccupation with national identity at home with the realities of living abroad. Parts one and two explore how, whether promoting regional differences or national unity, alliances with foreign governments or racial distinctions, music, instruments, and performances helped the French become aware of their positions on race and nation. Part three shows that musical life in Algiers, Dakar, Tunis, Hanoi, and Saigon--their schools, missions, public gardens, theaters and the repertoire performed--contributed to cohesion among westerners, but distinction between colonizers and colonized. That is, whereas at home music helped turn workers into citizens, in the colonies musical differences inhibited assimilation of indigenous people. Music culture thus fueled republican imperialism as well as embodied its contradictions, a subject with relevance beyond the French empire.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Music History and Criticism

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
3/1/2010 – 2/28/2011